Re: IP was: My Extropian Manifesto...

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Wed Aug 16 2000 - 22:49:00 MDT

>From: "Jason Joel Thompson" <>

>From: "Zero Powers" <>
> > OK, you're obviously a smart guy. Let's hear *your* idea for a workable
> > "social contract" that's going to keep people from pirating music and
> > software.

>Alright, I don't have any pat answers, but I can suggest directions that we
>should be moving towards:
>a) Increased Education. We've been pirating stuff for so long, we've
>forgotten its against the law. Remind people that some of us make a living
>with our brains. Remind people that IP is valuable... and getting more so.
>b) Involved Government. The law makers need to get online and get wired.
>This is the new world and it's no longer good enough to just have good
>people skills and an understanding of bridge tolls and urban violence.
>c) Legitimate Access. I absolutely agree that the RIAA should have bought
>Napster-- what were they thinking? A widely available means to legimately
>access content is desperately needed-- and as a directly commercial venture
>it should be able to offer better, more reliable, more legitimate service
>than anyone else.
>d) No wimps in Law Enforcement. The laws need teeth, and if you're going
>call it illegal, then do something about it.
>e) Technology. To my mind, it's clear that there are huge benefits for
>people to be more closely integrated with their information. Those
>need to be demonstrated and distributed. New technologies should focus on
>personal power-- less about how thousand of college kids can get free
>more about how you as an individual can make your own music. Technologies
>that make it easy and profitable for people to be contributory, not easy
>profitable to leech. Superior encryption should be widely available.
>Individuals should be able to participate in totally private, secure
>communication and transactions. We need smart information: data that knows
>stuff about itself, data that follows rules.

Seems to me that the *only* one of these suggestions which would have a
chance of succeeding, is more stringent law enforcement. Nobody has
"forgotten" that its illegal to pirate data. Its just that nobody gets
busted for it, so nobody is scared to do it. If there were repeated,
numerous and notorious piracy busts people would think twice before
Napstering data. *That* would work. But think of what that would mean...


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