Intellectual Property

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Excerpt: "Beyond the Blogosphere: Information and Its Children"

  • Posted on: 5 October 2011
  • By: Aaron Barlow

Here's a little bit from the book Robert Leston and I have just completed, Beyond the Blogosphere: Information and Its Children.  It will appear from Praeger in December:

In movies, in music, and in other areas, copyright has limited the intellectual commons, and the “intellectual commons contains the raw materials that people use to create works” (Henry Mitchell, The Intellectual Commons, xi-xii). When it is constrained, creation is restrained, which is doubly unfortunate, given the fact that there is no scarcity when the raw material is—or should be—infinitely reproducible. What copyright has done is to create boundaries where none existed or, as some would argue, need to exist. Though there may be justification for boundaries of some nature, the fact remains: copyright as practiced today, whether it is meant to or not, constrains creativity. Many owners of copyright may argue otherwise, that copyright enables creativity, but the evidence says otherwise. Certainly, the beneficiaries of copyright are rarely the actual creators.