“Copyright Monopolies” and their relationship to SOPA & PROTECT IP
January 6, 2012
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An interesting read: It Is Time To Stop Pretending To Endorse The Copyright Monopoly | Techdirt. This was written by Rick Falkvinge, the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party. Yes, it represents the far left of the spectrum, but there are some good and interesting ideas in there.
I found this very interesting:
… buttonmakers in France in the 1600s went berserk when tailors bypassed them and made buttons out of cloth instead. They demanded the right to invade people’s homes and search their wardrobes for violations of the guild privileges. Sound familiar?
Wow. Over buttons.
I think the money quote from the post is this (no emphasis added):
I reject and oppose this monopoly that was never for the creators, but always for the distributors: a guild whose time is up and obsolete, and which has no business trampling on our civil liberties.
To relate this to the current battles over SOPA and PROTECT IP, this is not about the artists that make your favorite music or the writers and directors of your favorite movie, it’s about the distributors of music and movies. The distributors are finding themselves cut out of the loop, and they are terrified the vast sums of money they enjoyed in the past will evaporate (and go to the creators). They witness experiments in artists going directly to the people and it points out how useless they are in the digital age. Louis CK made over a million US dollars in a short time, selling directly to the public without a middleman. Why should be go to HBO and make a fraction of that?
The current battles in congress over SOPA and PROTECT IP are about the middle men, who add nothing to the creative works, protecting the profits from a bygone era, before digital communication ruled the planet.
I support a free and open internet and support the creators of the content we love to consume getting paid directly (I bought Louis CK’s show on the first day it was available).