Re: [rumori] the big problem with lists

From: Jim Carrico (
Date: Sat Dec 30 2000 - 23:56:01 PST

>and then steev wrote (12/22):
>>what I keep thinking is, what really needs to be done is to
>>"de-normalize" (to be what i'd call Barthesian for a moment)
>>Intellectual Property. Our culture, and more importantly,
>>the Culture Industry, has tried its best to teach people
>>that i.p. is natural and commonsense, when it isn't.
>this is a great idea. and i would ask the list to offer some ideas as to
>how to go about doing this. because i really haven't a clue.

apologies if my last post came across all spammy, but this is essentially
what I'm getting at.

The problem with "intellectual property" as its now constituted is that it
has become a greed machine with no governor - things that were once freely
shared become private domains - the electromagnetic spectrum, the gene
pool, the internet...

we 'de-normalize' IP by giving everything away. Everything , that is, that
can be turned into bits. We can't prevent people from copying - why try?
And anyway, it *is* different from taking anything physical - you take my
TV I don't have it anymore, etc. People understand this already, and it's
essential to the whole argument - to show how arbitrary and in fact
*un*-natural it is to try to restrict the free flow of digital information.

By taking the attitude of, this is our music, please pass it around, we
create a market for everything else - physical objects, performance, things
involving personal connections. And at the same time educate people in the
joys of generosity, remind them that it feels good to give to others, and
that we wouldn't mind at all if they just gave us money - so that we can
keep doing this crazy shit instead of driving cabs or whatever for a

It's not relying on 'altruism' to think this will work, but enlightened
self-interest - intelligent egotism.

a big problem with copyright law is not the law but a society in which
creators have little hope of finding an audience or a market without
selling off their children as it were. IP law does not protect creators, it
protects owners. But it can be used to protect creators, if we can manage
to do for culture what the free software movement has done for technology.

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