(OT?) Copyright and IP

Tony Aiuto tony.aiuto at gmail.com
Mon Aug 24 20:11:46 CDT 2015

Yes. Information by itself has no behavior.

Water and electricity are especially bad analogies, because they are both
tangible. When you use the water or charge, it is gone. You can't take one
water molecule have share it between 100 people. You can, however, share
the same bit of information to an infinite number of others. So maybe it is
not "information wants to be free", it's that "Information is a Tribble.
Turn your back and you have more information."

On Sun, Aug 23, 2015 at 12:23 AM, drlegendre . <drlegendre at gmail.com> wrote:

> "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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