SOPA and PIPA: Who Are the Pirates?

We forget, in our discussions of piracy of Intellectual Property, that those complaining loudest about piracy are pirates themselves.Or, at least, are the descendants of pirates, still profiting by the piracy of their ancestors.The initial patent and copyright laws in England, in the 17th and 18th centuries, allowed for "ownership" for a period of 14 … Continue reading SOPA and PIPA: Who Are the Pirates?

SOPA, PIPA, and the Strangling of Creativity

There's not much I want to add to this today, except to applaud those sites going black to draw attention to what happens when we constrict the commons, as we have been doing slowly over the past two centuries, expanding copyright protections and contracting just what one can do in terms of new creative work.The … Continue reading SOPA, PIPA, and the Strangling of Creativity

Commodification of Intellectuals

Some time back, I posted a few comments along with a quote from Jacques Barzun--including one factual error and, in the quote, a bit of mistyping.  Someone connected to the scholar quickly contacted me and corrected me.  I thanked him and made the changes; that kind of vigilance is useful to all of us.But that … Continue reading Commodification of Intellectuals

Creating, Communicating, and Selling

Kembrew McLeod, a communications professor at the University of Iowa and the media activist who once registered the phrase 'freedom of expression' as a trademark, describes, in his book Freedom of expression®: resistance and repression in the age of intellectual property, how a piece of Intellectual Property changes when it goes public, doing so through … Continue reading Creating, Communicating, and Selling

Copyright: Only for the Corporations?

Are we headed towards a two-tier copyright system? One that provides protection for corporations and high-profile artists, but leaves everyone else out in the cold?Could be. The Congress is considering copyright changes to deal with the “problem” of orphan works (those whose owner cannot be located), allowing use of them if good faith efforts to … Continue reading Copyright: Only for the Corporations?