Jeffrey Fisher on 26 Jul 2000 05:22:42 -0000

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Re: <nettime> Terror in Tune Town

i wonder what such as plato, aristotle, augustine, thomas aquinas, newton,
bruno, copernicus would have done without the protection of their IP following
its 18th-century recognition  . . . uh, wait. hm.

McKenzie Wark wrote:

> very interesting, ted. Seems to me we're back in the great
> English conundrum of liberty and property. How John Locke
> must be chortling in his grave.
> I'm sceptical about accepting a weakening of property rights
> in the name of liberty, when it is *distribution* of property
> (among claimants, among types of property that have to be
> negotiated) that is the grounds for securing liberty in the
> first place.
> Two extremes are to be avoided: complete lack of protection
> of intellectual property rights, as was the case until English
> and Scottish common law recognised intellectual property
> in the 18th century; but also unlimited property right -- the
> early versions set very limited time periods.
> Yes, objections to liberal use of the intellectual property of
> others may be used to shut down free speech. I can see the
> danger there. But it seems to me there is also a danger at
> the other end. Vigorous defense of liberal use of others'
> property in the name of free speech undermines the distribution
> of property on which free speech rests in the first place.
> If one's (limited) intellectual property rights can't be protected,
> the pipe guys win. One has no source of income from what one
> creates and can claim as one's property. One has no independence
> of means with which to participate in civil society.

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