Jamie Boyle: Deconstructing Stupidity. It
is as if we had signed an international stupidity pact, one that
required us to ignore the evidence, to hand out new rights without
asking for the simplest assessment of need. If the stakes were trivial,
no one would care. But intellectual property (IP) is important. These
are the ground rules of the information society. Mistakes hurt us. They
have costs to free speech, competition, innovation, and science. Why
are we making them?
This important essay asks,
and begins to answer, the key question of why IP law has gone so wrong.
Boyle points out that there's money on the side of a less Draconian
system than we have — the technology industry dwarfs the entertainment
cartel — yet the law totally favors the entertainment side. The
answers, he says, are complex and rife with mythology, pushed on all of
us by the copyright interests, that skews the result.
Read it. [Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.]