23 January 2009

Intellectual Monopolists on the Back Foot

Given the constant cacophonous blaring of propaganda from the intellectual monopoly lobby, it's sometimes hard to tell whether we're making any progress in opening people's eyes to the evils of this approach. But here's heartening evidence from those same monopolists that we're having a big effect:

In October, US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue announced that the GIPC, which had previously been focused on counterfeiters, would rise to the challenge of what the chamber characterised as a “second threat [from] a growing movement of anti-IP activists drawn from universities, foundations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), ideologically driven interest groups, and even governments.”

These anti-IP activists, the chamber said, were annually spending tens of millions of dollars on an agenda to minimise intellectual property rights.

This is extraordinary. It equates those who wish - legitimately - to minimise intellectual monopolies as the moral equivalents of counterfeiters. In other words, the intellectual monoplists seem to regard *any* threat to their fat-cat lifestyle as illegal, almost by definition.

The good news is that by identifying those against intellectual monopolies as this "second threat" on a par with counterfeiting is proof of just how successful we are becoming.

We are winning, people: spread the word - and up the pressure. (Via Techdirt.)


Anonymous said...

Ireally wonder about this. the moment you claim 'fat cats' this focus is so partial to rights as to make discussion difficult.

Most rights holders earn little, and even the majority of publishers do not prosper in the way you suggest. Today it is estiamted that some 300,000 books in the US are now published by small publishers and self-publishers.

Without good copyringht and IP law few of them would do so, and the majority of authors would be unlikely to do so either.

The need to limit the abuse of copyright law by big interests is there. Killing IP law will hit the wrong people.

Joseph Harris

Glyn Moody said...

that's exactly why I used the term "fat cats": I'm not refering to the artists or authors, but the middlemen who make most of the money. That's why all these plans to increase copyright term are so flawed: even if they did bring in more money - which they won't, at least not much - it wouldn't go to the people who deserved it. We need a completely different system that ensures artists and authors are rewarded for their work.