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Old 12-14-2007, 06:10 PM   #1
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Interesting Paper (a dead horse(tm) post)

While I was looking at info about the ebook darknet, I found this interesting paper by John Perry Barlow, former songwriter for the Grateful Dead and founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It's quite old, and I've read it before, but I think it's an interesting perspective on the 'online copyright' debate. It's called "Selling Wine Without Bottles on the Global Net".

http://homes.eff.org/~barlow/EconomyOfIdeas.html
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Old 12-14-2007, 07:45 PM   #2
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That was interesting. Thanks for the link. He gets a bit long-winded and his definition of information feels like he's dodging the issue that a book has intrinsic value. Just because you strip the physical wrapper of a p-book does not mean its value as bits is altered, just more easily distributed.

He has a fallacy in saying "Intellectual property law cannot be patched, retrofitted, or expanded to contain the gasses of digitized expression ..." I think he is confounding law with enforcement. Although if enforcement is impossible then a given law is meaningless.

On the other hand, we are gaining technologies and processing power such that the government COULD sniff all packets flying about the country and block unauthorized transmissions. I'm not saying it would be a good thing. There would also continue an encryption war, trying to hide the contents of darknet downloads. But I believe it is, or will soon be, possible. Have you seen the latest stuff that identifies similar photographs? Pretty amazing stuff.
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