James Boyle – RSA Talk On Public Domain

Hey! It’s Tuesday! Let’s blog about important shit instead of posting video clips of cute puppies juggling elephant poo. Actually, that sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? I’ll go search for that as soon as I’m done here.

In the meantime, here’s a talk given by James Boyle at the RSA which goes hand-in-hand with some of the presentations given by Lawrence Lessig on the same theme: Intellectual property laws have a significant impact on many important areas of human endeavour, including scientific innovation, digital creativity, cultural access and free speech..

Boyle gives a good talk and it’s worth having a listen to what he has to say, which is an extension of his book The Public Domain: Enclosing The Commons Of The Mind.

If you must skip ahead through the talk please be sure to jump in at the 16 minute mark. That’s where the crux of Boyle’s observations come to a head and deserve to be heard by everyone.

The power of the media corporations lobbying efforts are concerned only with their self-interested quest for short term profits and control over the marketplace – unfortunately, for all concerned, the marketplace of intellectual property is not a mere physical space stacked with physical goods for sale – it exists in our minds and in our perceptions of the world around us and in our ability to speak to each other about our world and our lives.

The changes to copyright law and the subsequent corruption of the democratic process by these lobbying efforts serve to undermine our culture and our most basic human freedoms by the steady erosion of the public domain.

We live in an information age and we need to understand and respond to the laws which are being formed with respect to that information. It’s not just the business of the media corporations – it’s your business too.

Pass it on.


P. S. I found this over on BoingBoing from copyfighter Cory Doctorow.

UPDATE: TorrentFreak reports on the latest Wikileaked draft of ACTA:

ACTA is an international agreement that aims to target piracy and counterfeiting globally. The degree of secrecy surrounding the negotiations is astonishing. Many institutions, the press and various individuals have requested that the participating countries provide an insight into their plans, but none have succeeded thus far.

It almost seems they are actively blocking the public from having their say, while in contrast they continue to receive input from anti-piracy lobbyists such as the RIAA and MPAA. However, as time progresses more details about ACTA become public, largely thanks to Wikileaks.

Once again large media corporations are designing legislation outside of democratic discourse which directly affects your life.

These people are fascists.


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