BY AARON BARLOW
Questions of ‘intellectual property’—oh, how I hate that term—continue to plague us in this new digital age, and in ways never contemplated when patents and copyrights and trademarks and more were first protected by law in the English/American tradition three- and four-hundred years ago. We have built up assumptions of ‘ownership’ without ever really examining them (as a cultural whole—people have been studying this for generations, but with little impact) and, here in the US, we have moved without thinking far away from our Constitutional directive to Congress “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Time of copyright was limited so that others could use what had previously been done for further progress, limited so that new work could continue apace.
Now, instead of seven years, we can…
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