Monday, May 04, 2009

Put your copyright in, take your copyright out, put your copyright in and shake it all about


So it seems today is copyright themed, and the timing probably has something to do with the Pirate Bay ruling everybody's talking about. As an Anarchist problems surrounding property are quite intriguing to me and when it comes to the largely unmapped territory of intellectual property rights and cybertheft, more accurately known as piracy, my mouth begins to literally water.

If you know it or not Anarchist theory holds a lot of answers to life's questions, and, yes, copyright laws are one of them. Take the pending implosion of the newspaper industry. Everybody's panicking because they see it as the end of journalism as we know it (but is that really a bad thing? I'm looking at you New York Times).

It is simply the creative destruction of the marketplace. In the words of Eddie Vedder: "It's evolution, baby!"

If there is a demand for professional, in-depth journalism I'm guessing some enterprising individual will provide the service. If the void left by the Christian Science Monitor prods blogs into more dynamic news coverage I say more power to them. This type of pressure is a good thing. There's even a newspaper who is taking suggestions -- along with donations of course -- of what people want to read exposes about, the most popular subjects get the most attention. The cyber age is moving us in a more democratic direction where I feel more competitors will ultimately mean better quality products. With the launching of the Kindle, if Amazon or some other company can bring major newspapers aboard, it has the potential of delivering a techno-conscious service current news carriers just can't seem to get a handle on. This might just appeal to people already privy to buying a Kindle but maybe a subscription service that includes a package of magazines, ebooks and newspapers might be the answer.

In any case, to find out how these might happen without laws checkout crypto-anarchism, smart contracts and copyleft. In brief, if a content provider wants to ensure nobody pirates their product they can encrypt it and send it through a peer-to-peer service which secures a reciprocal business relationship. See, no laws need be invoked. Actually, now that I think of it, the reason more business isn't conducted this way is because copyright laws disincentivize this type of innovation.

For a great summary of all this stuff see this video. It's by a youtuber named ReIgNoFrAdNeSs, if you have a youtube account become a subscriber, his videos are, like, totally sinister.

No comments: