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Chris Hollander

student researcher ,

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SOPA wants to modernize penal and enforcement policies, should we also modernize definition of Intellectual Property?

Anyone who has used any form of creative software has at some time utilized templates, loops, backgrounds, fonts or any number of preconceived designs in the process of generating their own work. Under our current standards these designs are considered intellectual property the same as the more traditional forms; books, music, movies ect. Typically, a company like Microsoft will allow use of the Helvetica font under its licensing of its product, Word, but does the nature of the explosion of reuse and reformation of designs to create entirely new and imaginative expressions demand rethinking of how we determine the value and definition of digital intellectual property?

Are there other areas of Copyright law that need similar scrutiny ?
(GMOs, Life Patents, Trademarks ect.)

Can the argument be made that we have outgrown Copyright law as a society?


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    Jan 21 2012: Yep.

    You can't do this with rules. It has to be done in culture. TO be more specific - it has to be done within the structure of culture. And we will find the way. We always have done. I hope this one can be done without blood.

    The copyfight laws were implaced to allow for the honour of the creatives that our civilisation requires for its evolution. THe impost of an honorarium worked for a short time, but that concept has been perverted to equate the honour of artists with the obscene "real estate" that "Intellectual property" implies. It has allowed the creative potential of civilisation to be over-run by real-esate agents who add not a single drip of value to the earth or the community.

    What is done is to find a commons - to corale it and to charge entry to it. We are then forced to pay for what was already ours - at gunpoint. THis is not a modernisation - it is business as usual for 5000 years. And it ends now.

    How do you honour the creative? You PERSONALLY give him all he/she requires to do the work. That work flows into the community for the community - it is the default state and works fine if not perverted.

    Look to the word "advantage" .. why is it that we must acquire so much? It is not to overcome the environment - it is to overcome the people. Go to a survivor in Darfour and explain to him why you require so much advantage.

    Here's a definition for you:

    "The property of a species includes intellect" This excludes intellect as the property of a person (natural or artificial).

    As background - consider: All of life generates symbol. Symbol is that which exists and is not physical. The accumulation of symbol generated by life creates the "sociosphere". Human beings contribute massively, but not exclusively, to the sociosphere. Life has been working on this for millions of years - and here is the first flower of the sociosphere - it is the internet. We made it, but life made us. What we utter into it belongs to all of life.
    • Jan 28 2012: Last time I checked the MPAA has no armed thugs to point guns at anyone. I agree that the answer is a healthy balance - but letting people steal whatever they want, whenever they want constitutes balance weighed way too far to the other side.
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        Jan 28 2012: Last time I checked, the MPAA DOES have armed thugs - they are generally called "police". I am sure they would be happy to point a gun at me if they were instructed to arrest me for "violation of IP" at the very least, the gun will be observed on their hips.
        Steal .. as has been demonstrated the legal term is "violation of rights" not Theft.
        WIth regards to balance: While there was a physical cost associated with a published work (the book, the vynyl record, the paper journal etc) the reality was that production was finite. And we pay for physical things. The finite nature of the medium will be balanced (more or less).
        However, with digital media, production is potentially INFINITE. THis allows for infinite value to be transferred to the owner of "rights" .. the result is ultimately that all value in the whole of economy becomes transferred to the "rights owners" .. by extension, the rights owners then come to own everything - absolutely everything. The economy then is captured by "rights owners" and no one does anything or gets paid for anything if they are not at the service of the "rights owners".
        Now I know the model is tempered by finite "demand" but the system still has the potential to impose infinite cost on the economy. No balance there at all.

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