23 July 2010

Welcome to the Troll Economy

It began, perhaps, with SCO's insane attempt to obtain money from IBM and others for alleged infringements of its code. It proceeded with the music recording industry's increasingly vicious but fruitless threats to ordinary users, expanding more recently into the film business. Now, the Troll Economy has now come to the world of words:

Borrowing a page from patent trolls, the CEO of fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission.

Strangely, perhaps, I think this is a great development. As the world of music shows, once rights-holders start making unreasonable demands, the implicit compact with the public is broken, and people no longer respect a copyright system that does not even attempt to treat them fairly.

The Troll Economy will simply lead to more people rejecting intellectual monopolies altogether, sowing the seeds of its own destruction. Troll away, chaps....

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PV said...

I guess the old adage holds true here as well: "things have to get worse before they can get better". The situation has to reach its logical extreme before people reject it altogether.
a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

Glyn Moody said...

@PV: Sadly, it would seem so...