(OT?) Copyright and IP

drlegendre . drlegendre at gmail.com
Sat Aug 22 23:23:26 CDT 2015

"This goes directly against how information
behaves, which is to flow freely. "

Information has neither preference nor intent, nor any other inherent
behavioral characteristic(s).

You could make a water or electricity analogy - but both of those are most
often regulated, channeled, stored-up and rationed-out out as needed.

As much as I find appeal in the notion that "Information wants to be free",
information, per se, cannot want for anything at all.

On Sat, Aug 22, 2015 at 7:13 AM, Alexis Kotlowy <
thrashbarg at kaput.homeunix.org> wrote:

> Hi List,
> This relates to the ongoing discussion about vintage computer software
> copyright.
> A year or so ago I did some Beta videotape backups for the Australian
> Computer Society. They're of keynote speeches at the 10th Australian
> Computer Conference in 1983. One that I'd like to mention is by Tania
> Amochev from (then) Control Data Corporation, titled Information
> Services of the Future.
> In it, things we now call data mining and Google AdSense are discussed,
> and the potential of data services in general (this is in 1983). One
> thing that struck me was the contrast between traditional copyright of
> material items, and how such ideas don't apply very well to non-material
> information.
> I was left with the impression that the idea of "Intellectual Property"
> is in some ways an attempt to force information to be treated like
> materials, which is an easy way to put a value information, but also
> allows it to be hoarded. This goes directly against how information
> behaves, which is to flow freely. This free-flow of information allows
> more information to be derived or generated, enhancing productivity and
> overall knowledge.
> To quote: "Information is diffusive - it leaks. The more it leaks, the
> more of it there is. Information is aggressive, even imperialistic. It
> simply breaks out of its unnatural bonds, the bonds of secrecy in which
> 'thing minded' people try to lock it. So secrecy, property rights,
> confidentiality, all enshrined in Western thought and law, are not
> particularly effective restraints on information."
> This is not a cry to abolish copyright and intellectual property laws,
> but to highlight some of the inadequacies of the thought process behind
> these laws when dealing with high speed, global information.
> Does anyone have any thoughts? If there was a massive shift in the
> fundamental philosophy of how information should be valued, where would
> you like that shift to go? For example, is there a way to pay
> programmers and similar professions by the quality of their work, rather
> than just the number of lines of code they write. How do you measure the
> quality of information?
> I'll see if I can get permission to have the six keynote addresses put
> online, because they're all fascinating.
> Cheers,
> Alexis.
> P.S., if this is way off topic, my apologies.

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