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Intellectual Work for Money · Wednesday February 25, 2009 by Crosbie Fitch

I am arriving at a means of exchanging intellectual work for money1, without any need to privilege manufacturers or distributors of copies with monopolies, just as a century or so ago people arrived at a means of farming cotton without the need to enslave people.

No-one who makes a living from the suspension of others’ liberty will want to confront the ethics of their lucrative privilege, though they will happily focus on the prospect of hardship for all in a similar situation if such privilege is removed.

It is a failure of imagination to conclude that without copyright’s notional ability to prevent copying it is impossible for authors and other artists to exchange their highly valuable work for the money of those who highly value it.

I recognise that I’m not wrapping my prose in soft cushion here, but then I do not intend to address those with a fragile disposition. Copyright’s future is not to be rescued by any argument. It is Canute’s line in the sand now trampled into insignificance by the people who would assert their primordial right to cultural liberty. All we have left are the king’s men beating up kids and old ladies as part of a pyrrhic campaign to clear the beach and restore the sacred lines before the Nazca people forget what they’re for.

As for evidence that I’m working on a plausible labour exchange mechanism, see my comments in this discussion with Doc Searls on his post about enabling people to pay for the production of the news they want (rather than about charging them to read each copy):
PayChoice for Newspapers. And everything else that’s free

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