David Teh on 29 Jul 2000 15:28:30 -0000

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Re: <nettime> from IP to anti-corporate protest

i couldn't agree more, phil. 

it all stems from the bizarre inequities that arise from the corporation's
X-Men status at law.  so a company that owns the rights to something
administers those without the same 'feeling' or 'attachment' to the IP;
which includes commercial licencing or onselling when, as assets, they are
no longer making an adequate 'return'. i share this dystopic vision in
which the producer's creation is cut free and swallowed up by capital. 

but while it's a failing of our legal structures (the Corporations Law)
that this system caters for the protection of the integrity of IP products
so poorly, is it not also a great failure on the part of those resisting
this inexorable march of capital to miss the point that corporations
cannot be held to the same standards as other legal persons? i find recent
currents in liberal activism, those that focus on corporations as the
perpetrators of the world's ills, more than a little wasteful. 

[what about a company incorporated for the specific purpose of responsible
IP management. producers have equity and directive control over how
individual IP units get used, but the group creates a bulk economy for the
day to day management costs, marketing/promos etc.???]

a misunderstanding of the corporate veil has not only let our knowledge
property and artistic creations out of our grasp in officio-legal terms -
it has also misled the forces of resistance into a critical dead-end. the
laziest choice for protest is the biggest target.  short of "the system"
the biggest target is the corporate infrastructure that determines the
performance of governance on every level in Western 'democracies'.  but
the big target is not listening. 

go to their doorstep and scream 'Down with the evil BHP!' and BHP winces. 
for a day or so. probably doesn't affect their share price at all. other
corporations are rubbing their hands together so your democratic
expression ends up greasing the cogs of competition. go downtown and
scream 'Down with evil corporations!' and nobody gives a shit.  nobody at
all.  has it not been proven already that anti-corporate activism achieves
next to nothing unless it's company specific, vindictive, and militant...? 

i know i got a bit off the topic, but this has been bugging me for a
while.  anyway, i must say i agree entirely that the 'progress' of the
modern global economic system ends when every sphere of human endeavour
and all intangible, abstract characteristics ("creative" or otherwise) are
brought squarely into the reign of capital. the third phase of capital's
expansion is here, and we have called it (tellingly) the World Wide Web. 


Phil Graham wrote:

> Yeah ... the severity of that clause is fairly typical now. Contracts have
> been moving in this direction for a long while, really quickly for about
> the last 10 years. That sort of thing was not considered legally binding
> from about the 70s until the late 80s after many people who got suckered
> through the sixties with similar contracts sued successfully.


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