Copyleft Mythbusting

There’s an unseen but titanic struggle going on between old world concepts of intellectual property rights, and the online digital media lobby, who are seeking to drastically redefine, and even dismantle traditional copyright. We could call these forces the ‘copyleft’, if you will.

These forces – the colonizers of our information highways – have proven to be highly oblique in presenting themselves as white knights for freedom and opportunity, when the less than transparent truth is clearly different. They have bought the brightest minds, sat them at glossy tables, and bid them bring forth all manner of slippery intellectual arguments in order to cloud the whole world with inky propaganda that suits their purposes.

Just because something is repeated loud and often, does NOT make it so.

One of the common arguments I see put forward as a justification for dismantling copyright is that it “inhibits or retards innovation”.

This mantra is everywhere.

And yet … I see NO evidence of this in the real world that is worth acknowledging. Let’s just take individual creative ventures on the web for instance. It’s a self evident fact that only a few minutes of empirical observation can confirm: there are countless artists out there exploring their unique ideas, and new ways of interacting with audiences, and it is not a problem for any of them that they can’t freely copy or steal other peoples work.

(Fan fiction? That’s a slightly different category, but basically, fan fiction doesn’t threaten the viability of the works that inspire it. It enhances it.)

The explosion of innovation in the world of mobile computing – apps, games etc … how can this possibly be enhanced by piracy and freeloading???

Real people do real things because they are motivated. Controlling your own copyright is the greatest motivation any creative person can have. Killing copyright will do the opposite of enhancing innovation. It benefits only the stealers, the moochers, the wreckers, and the dull of mind.

Putting other peoples stuff into lockers without permission, charging subscribers for access to stolen goods, and selling advertising around the whole rotten enterprise – that is NOT innovation. OK? Or at least, not the kind of fresh thinking that creates new wealth. It represents the end of economies, the end of innovation.

 

About Costa Botes

I'm a freelance film maker based in Wellington, New Zealand. I make mainly long form independent documentaries about characters I find interesting.
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