“Copyright/Copyleft: Myths About Copyright”

I’ve just come across a wonderful deconstructionist article titled “Copyright/Copyleft:Myths About Copyright” by Liang, Mazmdar & Suresh. It’s deconstructionist in the sense that it challenges and identifies various assumptions re: the concept of copyright. Through challenging the ahistorical account of copyright, the paper serves to:
– contextualize authorship and originality
– reveal copyright, information and the language of property
– view copyright as an incentive for creativity
– expose the language of piracy and theft in the discourse of copyright.

Additionally, there are several quotes that reflect the influence of the open source movement on current understandings and functionality of copyright.

For instance:
“The existence of alternatives to copyright — such as copyleft, the open source movement, the Fairshare and Street Performer protocols — belie the reality of copyright. Conceptually, these alternatives challenge the fundamentals upon which copyright rests. The emphasis is on the ability of users to modify and distribute works …”

“If the world of copyright constructs itself as the only model of incentive, reward, etc for creative labour, the symbolic power of the open source movement rests in the creation of alternative social imaginaries which turn every assumption of copyright upon itself.”

There are great thoughts here which I will likely incorporate into my current research on the open source movement. It’s certainly worth a read.