Cory Doctorow recently wrote the piece “Why I Copyfight” in Locus Magazine. The short essay is insightful and discusses the relationship between copyright and culture, the disparity between copyists and copyright holders, and the reasons why people (should) continue to resist the tight restrictions of current copyright law. Some of my favourite snippets include:
– “The existence of culture is why copyright is valuable.”
– “… the reason copyright exists is because culture creates a market for creative works.”
– “Content isn’t king: culture is.”
– “Culture’s imperative is to share information: culture is shared information.”
And the most common sense passage I have read in a long time regarding copyright law and enforcement must be:
It’s entirely possible that there’s a detente to be reached between the copyists and the copyright holders: a set of rules that only try to encompass “culture” and not “industry.” But the only way to bring copyists to the table is to stop insisting that all unauthorized copying is theft and a crime and wrong. People who know that copying is simple, good, and beneficial hear that and assume that you’re either talking nonsense or that you’re talking about someone else.
It is unfortunate that current copyright law is more transfixed on control and profit instead of culture and common sense.
Read Doctorow’s full article here.