Sunday, September 13, 2009

Breaking Out the Red Banner of Revolution

Crosbie Fitch on his webpage, Digital Productions, put together a very informative breakdown of the various views towards intellectual property. In his post, Natural IP in Nihilism to Maximalism, Crosbie writes:

"To put Natural IP in context, here it is among four key positions – using the example of a poem:

  • IP Nihilism: No-one can own a poem, only the material comprising the copies of it.
  • IP Naturalism: Those who have legitimate1 copies of a poet’s poem own that poem in the copies within their private property (house, car, briefcase).
  • IP Monopolism: A poet should also be granted a transferable reproduction monopoly (on the pretext of incentivising publication).
  • IP Maximalism: A poet, or his assigns, owns his poem in all representations throughout the universe, forever."
The breakdown helps to define a continuum from which the intellectual property discussion can be analyzed and debated. Personally, in response to the increasingly shrill calls for ever "stronger" intellectual property rights; I have been moving in the other direction, towards IP Nihlism. Fundamentally, why should the public (me specifically) have their property rights to the use of content diminished to the point of extinction so that the "seller" can extort an unreasonable monopoly rent?

For a summary read on my "enlightenment" please see narrative The Case Against IP: A Concise Guide. Also see Mike Masnick's series on The Grand Unified Theory On The Economics Of Free. Of course there is a lot more. In the meantime, break out the red banner of revolution!

No comments: