Eternal Copyright

21.02.2012 Misc #Copyright

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Tolle Satire von Adrian Hon im Telegraph, der ein ewiges Copyright fordert und es toll findet, wenn dann die „free-speech crazies“ protestieren, weil denen ein bisschen frische Luft gut täte.

A bold idea such as Eternal Copyright will inevitably have opponents who wish to stand in the way of progress. Some will claim that because intellectual works are non-rivalrous, unlike tangible goods, meaning that they can be copied without removing the original, we shouldn't treat copyright as theft at all. They might even quote George Bernard Shaw, who said, "If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas."

Such opponents are condoning criminal activity, plain and simple, and are frankly no better than criminals themselves. Why would anyone want to create new ideas and intellectual works if they can't benefit from them in perpetuity? Are we to believe that people have motivations other than the purely financial and quantifiable? And are they suggesting we should continue to allow modern "creators" to sully the legacy of legends like Jane Austen and Hans Christian Andersen with their pointless, worthless adaptations, remixes, and reinterpretations of Pride and Prejudice and The Emperor's New Clothes?

In the interests of full disclosure, I do want to point out a genuine problem with Eternal Copyright, in that it will be difficult to enforce due to the inherently criminal nature of digital technology, which allows information to be copied perfectly and instantly. Absent a complete ban of the technology, which admittedly would be a little draconian, one obvious solution would be to hard-wire digital devices to automatically detect, report, and prevent duplication of copyrighted material. Yes, this might get the libertarians and free-speech crazies out protesting, but a bit of fresh air wouldn't do them any harm.

Eternal Copyright: a modest proposal (via Boing Boing)