Re: IP: RE: Author of DeCss Arrested

From: phil osborn (
Date: Wed Jan 26 2000 - 21:57:50 MST

>From: <>
>Subject: IP: RE: Author of DeCss Arrested
>Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 15:04:32 -0500
>From: Dave Farber <>
>>Reply-To: <>
>>From: "Chris Allbritton" <>
>>To: <>>>Dave,
>>this is a horrible trend that seems to be accelerating--namely the
>>privatization of ALL knowledge. It seems that copyright laws are being
>>used not as an incentive for artists to produce new work, but streams for
>>multinational corporations. I can't imagine this is what the framers had
>>in mind when they wrote that clause into ye olde Constitution.....
Instead we seem content to place that vision in the
>>hands of the 'free market,' which doesn't hold the common good as a value,
>>but instead seeks--by law--to maximize shareholder value. In cases
>>regarding intellectual property, shareholder value is antithical to a and
>>open society.>>>--
>>Chris Allbritton
Fukuyama, in his classic "Trust" gives a marvelous description of a similar
process in France. The French monarchy had observed the catastrophe in
Britain with the Magna Carta, and decided to forestall any such nonsense.
Thus, they instituted a new regime in which the nobels were systematically
tied ever closer to the court for favour, which came at a price that
ultimately bankrupted many of them, and enriched the crown.
An offshoot of this was the granting of patents and licenses for anything
and everything to the commmoners. You could walk into court and purchase
the exslusive right to wear a red cockade on the fourth Sunday of the month
on a particular street or streets. With this patent in hand, you could
arrest or sue any other poor unfortunate who had not read all the thousands
of such legal documents - posted publically at each court, so it was their
own fault(!) - and chose to violate your rights by wearing such a cockade on
the wrong street at the wrong time.
This naturally resulted in a vast war of all against all throughout France.
According to Fukuyama, this utterly destroyed the common fabric of trust
throughout French society, and they have still not recovered, some hundreds
of years since.
The combination of the drug war, the newly burgeoning cyber-sex war, and the
willy-nilly granting of patents and copyrights may well be more than enough
to accomplish the same here.
Fortunately, we now have the tools to stop it in its tracks.
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