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Donna Wentworth
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Ernest Miller
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Elizabeth Rader
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Jason Schultz
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Wendy Seltzer
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Aaron Swartz
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Alan Wexelblat
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About this weblog
Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this weblog are those of the authors and not of their respective institutions.

What Does "Copyfight" Mean?

Copyfight, the Solo Years: April 2002-March 2004

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

Copyfight

« In Which Dear Fred Shows Himself A Hopeless Optimist | Main | The Urge To Share »

April 16, 2010

Whereas Cory Thinks We're At War

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Posted by Alan Wexelblat

Unlike Fred Von Lohmann's optimistic take on things, over at The Guardian (UK) Cory Doctorow's latest column rails about the fact that we're at war. Which is, yanno, more or less what I've been saying for the last 5+ years in this blog. Cory's pissed that the Cartel just won a big battle in the Copyright Wars over in the UK. But it's still just one more battle in this protracted struggle.

Unlike, apparently, most Copyfighters, I've never thought a negotiated peace was possible. The Cartel just thinks too differently, and has wholly incompatible motives, for a negotiated solution. There are only three possible outcomes - subjugation that will kill off the subjugated technology (RIP DAT), the death of the Cartel dinosaurs (RIP pretty much every retail music outlet, half the major labels, most newspapers and on and on), and the outcome that gives me the most hope, which is the growth of a new generation that views this fight as uninteresting and irrelevant. That generation will rip, mix, and share because it's what they've always done.

The laws and regulations, the FUD, the technological shenanigans can make it harder but you cannot sue, scare, or legislate culture out of existence. Not if you're the Chinese government and not if you're the Cartel. Change the kids and you own the future.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Interesting People


COMMENTS

1. Evan on April 16, 2010 11:32 PM writes...

I'm just now "getting" the bit about these "kids today" finding the copyfight uninteresting and irrelevant. This general "meh" attitude has been a little shocking to me. Post-epiphany, I can now see that growing up with the "remix culture" would make such an attitude seem natural.

I guess, being in my early 30's and not "growing up digital", being fired up about the destruction of the public domain, perversion of the social contract, the loss of a hundred or more years of products of human toil, etc, just seemed natural to *me*. My attitude must be equally puzzling to the kids who just don't care about these issues.

I think its safe to assume, though, that the Cartel is going to get a lot nastier as they slip further and further into their death throes. Your statement "Change the kids and you own the future" gives me pause. The Cartel has certainly increased their indoctrination programs, and I'm not sure that just "growing up digital" is enough to counteract these indoctrination efforts. Let's keep the fight up anyway, just in case... (*smile*)

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2. Alan Wexelblat on April 17, 2010 6:30 AM writes...

It is a bit shocking to us old folk. I was just watching a video on YouTube made by a World of Warcraft player. This person is showing off his in-game skills, which is what everyone pays attention to, but it's overlaid on three or four pieces of no-doubt-copyrighted music. Using those tracks, unauthorized, is no doubt an "infringing" act but not only does he not think twice about doing it, the question just doesn't arise in the minds of the millions of WoW fans who will watch the vid, or even the official Blizzard commenter who links approvingly to the vid.

I confess that I copped the "change the kids" motto from Nicholas Negroponte who spent years and years trying to get his ideas past walls of obstinate governmental bureaucracies only to decide in the end that it was just faster and more effective to put stuff in the hands of the kids, wait 20 years, and presto - cultural change.

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