IP as class conflict
Alternet has an article which offers a rare leftist attack on intellectual property: "Why I Infringe."
I only steal from the rich. Once I copied a Mountain Goats CD, because I loved it so much and couldn't find it anywhere. As soon as I did, I bought that CD and about five more by the same band. That was a situation where I was sure the artist, who works through an independent label, would actually get my money. I don't have that same feeling about creators whose work is owned by giant media conglomerates. And frankly, I really don't care if Danny Elfman never sees the money he might have made if I hadn't copied that Oingo Boingo CD. He's rich enough as it is.
I'll leave it to Lawrence Lessig to explain how copyright limitations can nourish free trade and moneymaking. I'll let Declan McCullagh explain why there is no contradiction between capitalism and civil liberties for all. I don't care if my file-sharing cripples the economy. I want to rebel against the property holders, the people who took away our beautiful things and called them commodities. Until culture belongs to all of us equally, I will continue to infringe. "
Indeed, Lessig takes pains to argue that IP policy doesn't fit into left-right distinctions, at least from his reformer's take.
posted by Bryan Alexander @ 4:45 PM