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Human beings have been copying and reusing culture and technology for approximately 2.6 million years. Access to new cultural advancements have been crucial for all human societies during all of prehistory.
With this presentation I want to give an archaeological perspective on today's issues of free software, free culture, patents and copyright. I am going to give examples on how humans have copied and reused culture and technology through out all of prehistory with concrete archaeological examples, mainly from the stone age. I am also going to show examples of how people have been trying to limit access to ideas and technology for others.
The presentation will focus on these questions:
What does the possibility to copy culture and technology mean for human societies and how does people profit from limiting the access to these cultural traits and technologies for others?
Does culture have an intrinsic wish to be copied? Does culture in fact want to be free?
Keywords: Stone Age, Memes, Cultural transmission.