Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The #copyright scam

Even though copyright is embedded in international law, it does not follow that the premise is accurate. Intellectual property is to allow a financial return on the copyright and the notion is that without copyright protection innovation is not a viable enterprise.

This logic means that the fashion industry is not viable because it does not have copyright protection. Fashion is big business. Competition is cut throat, it is extremely innovative and the high fashion design is not in danger as a result of it.

Fashion is also a very popular subject on television where people like Gok Wan shows how a keen fashion sense allows people to be fashionable on any budget. This and the many makeover shows encourage people to be interested in one of the most profitable industries there is.

When you compare this to the industries that embrace copyright and patents as if there is no alternative you find industries that are exclusionary and that are not as innovative as they could be. Even though practices of the copyright industries have proven to be abusive and monopolistic, their political contributions ensure their gravy train. Abuse is evident in their reaction to people and organisations that take opposite positions. The monopolistic tendencies show for instance in the news of an acquisition of a company by Microsoft: "this is a strategic move on Microsoft’s part to gain access to the technology and intellectual property of the chip maker".

On 20 November, a mini conference organised by the Dutch chapter will have the Dutch IP lawyer Arnoud Engelfriet as a speaker.

One final thought, even Richard Stallman would like the EFF not to be necessary.
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