Glyn Moody - time to rebel

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A short presentation about copyright and its failure

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Glyn Moody - time to rebel

  1. 1. time to rebel? <ul>glyn moody </ul>
  2. 2. ” rebel code” <ul><li>group of programmers fighting for the right to share (1983)
  3. 3. today free software </li><ul><li>runs the Internet
  4. 4. runs Google, Facebook, Twitter
  5. 5. runs 91% top 500 supercomputers
  6. 6. runs Android (600,000 activations per day) </li></ul><li>time to fight for the right to share *again*? </li></ul>
  7. 7. ”IP” <ul><li>” IP” is a bundling of disparate things: copyright, patents, etc.
  8. 8. nothing in common – except the fact that they are time-limited, government-granted monopolies
  9. 9. ” IP” is a clever rebranding of something generally deprecated (monopoly) as something generally approved (property)
  10. 10. intellectual *monopolies* </li></ul>
  11. 11. ”copy right” <ul><li>in 16 th and 17 th century England, the Stationers' Company had exclusive and perpetual state monopoly over producing copies every registered book (their ”copy right”)
  12. 12. aim was to *control* what was printed by establishing responsibility – instrument of censorship </li></ul>
  13. 13. Statute of Anne (1710) <ul><li>” An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by Vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or Purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned.”
  14. 14. gave limited monopoly (14 years + 14 year extension) to authors or publishers (”purchasers”) </li></ul>
  15. 15. copyright infringement then <ul><li>analogue publishing of an unauthorised copy required: </li><ul><li>somebody to typeset the text
  16. 16. somebody to print the sheets
  17. 17. somebody to bind the book
  18. 18. somebody to distribute the book </li></ul><li>” copyright pirates” and ”pirated” goods were rare </li></ul>
  19. 19. copyright infringement now <ul><li>digital publishing of an unauthorised copy requires </li><ul><li>a computer + (free) software
  20. 20. an Internet connection </li></ul><li>” copyright pirates” and ”pirated” goods are common </li></ul>
  21. 21. accidental pirates <ul><li>John Tehranian - ”Infringement Nation: Copyright Reform and the Law/Norm Gap” (2007) </li><ul><li>typical day, average user commits 83 copyright infringements, with liability of $12.45 million
  22. 22. $4.544 billion each year </li></ul><li>collision between </li><ul><li>automatic copyright
  23. 23. digital abundance </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. towards abundance: CDs <ul><li>first CD appeared in 1982 </li><ul><li>without any kind of copy protection
  25. 25. because it was impossible to copy the CD's 700 Mbytes of data: the 1983 IBM PC XT had a 10 Mbytes hard disc – less than one song
  26. 26. similarly impossible to share it across the Internet: the Hayes Smartmodem, released in 1981, had a speed of 300 bits/s – about 400 hours to upload one song </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. towards abundance: MP3s <ul><li>developed in early 1990s, just as Internet was taking off </li><ul><li>used clever tricks to reduce music file size to 10% of original – reduced time to upload file by factor of 10
  28. 28. modem speed then 14.4 Kbit/s - less than one hour to upload/download one MP3 song: slow, but possible </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. towards abundance: today <ul><li>Mbit/s broadband connection means that entire films can now be shared
  30. 30. P2P networks like BitTorrent make it even easier to distribute those files and share them in the background
  31. 31. 1 Terabyte hard disc (1000 Gbytes) costs 50 euros; stores 150,000 MP3s </li></ul>
  32. 32. towards abundance: tomorrow <ul><li>gigabit/s connections will transmit 1000s of mp3 files anywhere in seconds
  33. 33. a 1 Petabyte (1000 Terabytes) USB stick will cost 50 euros and store every song ever recorded
  34. 34. a 1 Exabyte hard disc (1000 Petabytes) will cost 50 euros and store every film ever recorded </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul>war on digital sharing </ul><ul><li>seeks to enforce intellectual monopolies and their scarcities
  36. 36. local laws </li><ul><li>Digital Economy Act; La Loi HADOPI; La Ley Sinde </li></ul><li>global treaties </li><ul><li>ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership)
  37. 37. policy laundering </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. <ul><li>what if the war on digital sharing is ”lost”? </li></ul><ul><li>every person on this planet with Net access could obtain a copy of every digital artefact – text, image, sound, video - ever created
  39. 39. could give access to practically all human knowledge, to anyone with a Net connection – not just the developed world, or the rich
  40. 40. shouldn't we hope for this Pyrrhic ”defeat”? </li></ul>
  41. 41. back to basics <ul><li>copyright not about preserving the West's grip on knowledge
  42. 42. copyright not about protecting old business models
  43. 43. copyright not about defending authors' or publishers' ”rights”
  44. 44. copyright is about ”the Encouragement of Learning” </li></ul>
  45. 45. creative scarcity <ul><li>copyright was framed in a world of creative *scarcity*: few authors producing few books
  46. 46. designed to encourage more authors to write more books, and for publishers to print them
  47. 47. because the process was complicated and costly, and incentives were needed </li></ul>
  48. 48. creative abundance <ul><li>today, we live in a world of creative abundance
  49. 49. the Internet liberates creativity by removing barriers to publication
  50. 50. anyone with an Internet connection can create and publish for near-zero cost
  51. 51. incentives are no longer needed </li></ul>
  52. 52. the virtuous circle <ul><li>today, the optimum way of ”encouraging learning” is to free it up for the billions who currently have little access to it
  53. 53. educating them through access to knowledge will feed back even more creativity into the system
  54. 54. self-fuelling, positive feedback </li></ul>
  55. 55. abolish copyright <ul>[email_address] @glynmoody on Twitter/ identi.ca opendotdotdot.blogspot.com </ul>

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