Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Plot to Privatize Common Knowledge
"Over the past three decades, modern culture has become infatuated with the idea that knowledge should be owned like real estate or stock shares. The original idea, of course, is that copyrights, trademarks, and patents reward people for their creative labors and thereby boosts the common good.

But this line of thinking has come to resemble a kind of Market Fundamentalism: copyrights, trademarks and patents are the only morally legitimate and practical method for managing creations of the mind. There is no middle ground. You either believe in intellectual property rights, or you support 'theft' and 'piracy.'

This fundamentalist approach shuts down a broader discussion about how knowledge ought to circulate in our culture.... today, copyrights and patents are going far beyond their intended goals—such as the US Constitution provision to 'promote progress in science and the useful arts'—to become ends in themselves. Instead of carefully balancing private interests and public needs, copyrights and patents are becoming crude, anti-social instruments of control and avarice."

No comments: