EFF-Founder John Perry Barlow at the eG8-Summit

Ars Technica hat eine spannende Zusammenfassung des Auftritts von John Perry Barlow, Gründer der Electronic Frontier Foundation auf der eG8-Konferenz.

On stage with the French culture minister and the heads of 20th Century Fox, Universal Music France, Bertelsmann, and a French publisher, he waited though 30 minutes of opening statements filled with comments like:

- “We do not believe that you can remove ‘content’ from the Internet, and if you do this, what is there left? Basically, the Internet then is a set of empty pieces and boxes.” (Bertelsmann)

- “When someone comes to you and says I need a few hundred million dollars to make a movie about 10 foot tall blue people on another planet, that’s not an easy decision to make. But if you do make that decision and it does turn out to be Avatar, then you’d like to be compensated.” (20th Century Fox; Avatar set the world box office record)

- “In France, there are still people who maintain their criticism of this [three strikes authority HADOPI], who view it as a repressive body, whereas in actual fact it creates momentum from a pedagogical standpoint.” (Minster of Culture)

When Barlow had a chance to speak, he expressed his own surprise at being on the panel, “because I don’t think I’m from the same planet, actually.” He then proceeded to trash the foundational assumptions of everyone who had just spoken.

I may be one of very few people in this room who actually makes his living personally by creating what these gentlemen are pleased to call “intellectual property.” I don’t regard my expression as a form of property. Property is something that can be taken from me. If I don’t have it, somebody else does.

Expression is not like that. The notion that expression is like that is entirely a consequence of taking a system of expression and transporting it around, which was necessary before there was the Internet, which has the capacity to do this infinitely at almost no cost.

In Barlow’s view, the e-G8 has been about “imposing the standards of some business practices and institutional power centers that come from another era on the future, whether they are actually productive of new ideas or not.”

Copyfight: EFF co-founder enters e-G8 “lion’s den,” rips into lions