1. Content
  2. Index
  3. Search
  4. RSS/Subscribe

This House Proposes To Abolish Copyright · Sunday June 19, 2011 by Crosbie Fitch

The abolition of copyright is now the subject of debate.

It has even been broached at the World Copyright Summit in Brussels 6-8th June 2011:

Neelie Kroes’s EC colleague Reinhard Buscher (Head of Unit for Support for Industrial Innovation, DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission) was adamant that copyright needed to change to accommodate digital innovation, even hinting that he wouldn’t be completely against abolishing it altogether.

I will be arguing the case for the abolition of copyright at two forthcoming debating events:

  1. June 21st: Has copyright passed its sell-by date?
  2. July 12th: Do we come to bury copyright — or to praise it?

Admitting copyright’s abolition as a subject of debate is comparable to the participants in the Milgram experiment admitting its premature ending as a subject of debate.

It is surprising just how readily juries will observe unjust law and/or level inhuman penalties simply because the law stipulates them, and how much injustice must occur before at least one person will query it.

Just as a tiny few Milgram experimenters dared to ask if 450 volt shocks were really ethical and appropriate as a means of training human beings (with extreme suffering), so some, in our case of draconian copyright enforcement, are beginning to ask if million dollar fines, three year imprisonments, and extradition are ethical measures to help people unlearn their instinctive need to share and build upon their own culture.

Indeed, with copyright we really are in one big Milgram Experiment: immortal publishing corporations demanding that people be educated to respect their anachronistic privilege of copyright, the masses instinctively enjoying their liberty to share their own culture, and the people’s supposedly humanitarian government obediently accepting orders from their corporate lobbyists/sponsors to punish unfortunate infringers as a ‘lesson’ to the rest. The trouble is, it is only those outside the experiment who are desperately screaming at the soundproof windows “For humanity’s sake STOP! But we can’t hear them…

Just how big a shock would you send through a copyright infringer for failing to respect Queen Anne’s annulling of their right to copy in 1709? With the right indoctrination, programming, and authority, it’s quite likely you’d go beyond fines, imprisonment, extradition, even torture, and all the way to execution. As Rick Falkvinge observes, we’ve been here many times before.

  • What we fail to learn from history is that we are doomed to repeat it.

Abolish privilege, abolish copyright.



 

About

Contact

Recent Articles

Recent Comments

Topics

Rights

Natural Right

Legal Rights

Life

Equality

Fraternity

Violence

Privacy

Being Privy

Confidentiality

Personal Data

Publication

Truth

Attribution

Authenticity

Moral Rights

Plagiarism

Representation

Veracity

Liberty

Censorship

Disclosure

Freedom of Speech

Freedom vs Liberty

Official Secrets Act

Piracy

Property

Apprehensibility

Facility

Identifiability

Copyright

Copyfarleft

Ineffectiveness

Modulation

Neutralisation

Patent

Software

US Constitution

'exclusive right'

Sanction

Contract

Inalienability

Licensing

NDA

Abolition

GPL

Business

Models

Incorporation

Immortality

No Rights

Regulation

Culture

Miscellany

Links

Principles

Amnesty International

Copyleft (Wikipedia)

Electronic Frontier

Free Culture F'n

Free Culture UK

Free S/w Foundation

Pontification

Against Monopoly

One Small Voice

Open...

P2Pnet

Question Copyright

Paragons

GratisVibes

Jamendo

SourceForge

Wikipedia

Protagonists

Downhill Battle

Publishers vs Public

Proof

Rethinking Copyright

Papers

Against Monopoly

Ecstasy of Influence

Libertarian Case

Post-Copyright

Practitioners

Janet Hawtin

Nina Paley

Rob Myers

Scott Carpenter