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  • R 2:39 pm on January 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation,   

    Jeffrey Tucker: The Death of File Sharing 

    The attack on Megaupload takes all of this to a different level. This was not some wholly surreptitious, sketchy institution that was trying to get around the law. It was already becoming a legitimate service for launching careers in music and art generally. It seemed to be doing exactly what we expect in the digital age. It was reinventing an old model for new times through innovation in production, delivery and profit sharing.

    As I wrote before, this was most likely why the old-line industry came after them. It was not the illegal activities, but their legal ones that made them a target. The moguls do not want change. They crushed the competition. At the same time, the actual legal rationale that the feds used to blast these people away was their supposed violation of intellectual property through file sharing.

    Which raises the question: Is every site that makes file sharing possible in danger? Consider Dropbox, the hugely popular service that allows you to put your files in the cloud and create specialfolders that share them with others. This allows people to work on shared folders in a collaborative way, and prevents the inevitable problem of version control that comes with emailing back and forth. How exactly is Dropbox different from Megaupload? It is not that different. It is staid and scholarly, rather than flashy and jazzy. It’s
    interface is plain and neat, rather than colorful and upbeat. Otherwise, it is hard to qualitatively distinguish one from another. Dropbox is hardly alone.

    As TechCrunch puts it:
    “Several digital locker services operate like Megaupload. RapidShare and MediaFire are two of the larger services. But these sites have undergone a facelift recently and at least appear to be much less nefarious than they once were. Other services like Dropbox, iCloud, and Amazon S3 are open to hosting any
    file type a user uploads. They also make sharing easy, but in a way, that’s a lot more private than Megaupload. Still yet, there are sites like Zoho in which users can easily share content, content that could be copyrightable. But the prime goal of all these sites is open file sharing— just like Megaupload.”

    It is hard to see how any file-sharing site can pass muster under the new regime. There are plenty more like SugarSync and FileSonic. As Ghacks points out, users of the latter were greeted with the following ominous message just this week:

    Question: What value is a file-sharing site if it doesn’t permit the sharing of files? It becomes a thumb drive in the cloud. Maybe that is a bit of convenience, but it is not highly marketable or useful.

    Another tactic that file-sharing sites are using after the Mega attack is to outright ban U.S. users in hopes that this will somehow immunize them from the terror attacks being used by the U.S. government. Thus at one upload site were American users greeted with a government-generated block message.

    Americans look at China with shock that the government doesn’t allow access to a huge amount of the World Wide Web. But look: It is happening right now in the United States, but in an indirect way. This has been called a “virtual Iron Curtain” that is being thrown up around U.S. borders. It has already happened to banking. We are seeing the first signs of this on Internet access. Another site called uploadbox.com has decided that it will no longer deal with the risk of these kinds of terror tactics and plans to shut down completely at month’s end. What else? Google Docs allows file sharing and has solved so many problems as a result. This has been a great advantage of this innovation. I use it every day. It is essential. But it is in danger. What about Facebook? I could post a copyrighted image there right now and share it with thousands. Facebook thereby becomes an accessory to the same crimes that Mega is alleged to have abetted. For that matter, what about email? When I send a file, it doesn’t remove it from my machine. A copy is made and made and made again. Who and what is to say whether what is sent or received is proprietary and made it through all the legal hoops? In the last several weeks, I’ve actually received emails expressing fear ofsharing links to public sites!

    All these changes go beyond the traditional “chilling effect” of random attacks on free speech and free association. This is a sudden and outright freeze, one that is devastating for the whole way in which the Internet has come to exist.

    What is called “file sharing” is the unique service that the Internet provides. Without that, the Internet becomes an efficient post office or another means of delivering television-style content. The reason that the Internet has been the driving force behind economic growth, political change, social progress and the general uplift of humanity is its capacity for taking scarce goods and converting them into nonscarce goods of infinite duplicability and availability. Information, media, data and images that were once captive of the physical world — paper and ink, film and bankers boxes — have been freed into another realm so that they can serve and enlighten the whole of humanity. This has happened because of the miracle of duplicating digital goods that are driving economies in the digital age. To ban duplication and file sharing today is no different from banning flight in the 1920s, banning steel in the 1880s, banning the telegraph in the 1830s, banning
    the printing press in the 1430s and banning the wheel and sail at the beginning of mankind’s advance out of the cave.
    It will set humanity back.
    It violates liberty.
    It attacks everything that constitutes and defines the times in which we live.
    It replaces a world of sharing and thriving with a world of violence and technological regression.
    The Internet will continue to exist, but it will take a different form. Large sectors will have to thrive behind very secure pay walls and only within private digital communities.
    And who is doing this? The U.S. government. Government in league with old-line corporate elites.
    And what is the official reason? To enforce “intellectual property.” It has really come down to this:
    Either the whole basis of copyright, trademark and patent are scrapped or we could see the death of the digital age as we know it. So long as IP is enforced, the U.S. world empire can continue to roam the world seeking whom it may devour

    • Jeffrey Tucker

    A Beautiful Anarchy – The Death of File Sharing

  • R 1:09 pm on September 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation   

    US Congress: Copyright is a special reward 

    US Congress’s protection of copyrights is not a “special private benefit,” but is meant to achieve an important public interest: “to motivate the creative activity of authors and inventors by the provision of a special reward, and to allow the public access to the products of their genius after the limited period of exclusive control has expired.”

    This idea that the special reward exists to motivate creative activity is becoming so obviously a lie it’s the difference between night and day.

  • R 5:33 am on September 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Innovation,   

    I want to explain what Piracy has done for the world and why you should not be ashamed of it. 


    Everyone can enjoy visual novels in the West.
    I want to explain what Piracy has done for the world and why you should not be ashamed of it. The youtube clip that was included with this pdf featuring John Perry Barlow (Co-founder of Electronic Frontier Foundation) comes from here.



    We live in this unfortunate world of scarcity, where there isn’t enough to satisfy everybody’s wants and needs.

    The history of human civilization is man’s constant struggle against nature and scarcity. People in the past, all they ever did was look for food all the time just to get enough to eat! Most human beings that have ever walked this earth lived their entire existence in what today we would call ‘Absolute Poverty’. Before the 18th century, the average person was extremely poor. It was only VERY VERY recently the specialization of roles and the division of labor and trade post-industrial revolution that gave us the relative abundance that we enjoy today. Just in the last 50 years, average income of every person on the planet (adjusted for inflation) Tripled and lifespan is up by 30%, food production per capita is UP by a third yet world population DOUBLED! We are vanquishing scarcity! We are building heaven on earth! But…. but even in the 21st century we still have scarcity. We don’t have total abundance yet (we don’t have the replicator from Star Trek but we’re getting close!). My point is, burying scarcity IS human progress.

    Enter Internet.


    What happened when Internet…


    For the first time in the history of the world, human beings somehow managed to create a gigantic copying machine that was capable of reproducing human knowledge unto infinity at almost no costs.


    This is nuts. because information had always been scarce. But with the internet there is now almost no scarcity.

    We’ve reached a point in history where information has become non-scarce. There is no shortage of information because there is no costs in reproduction. Everyone can have as much knowledge as they want and that it is good that everyone can have their curiosity be satisfied to its fullest extent without needing to trade-off. General purpose peer-networked computers make information scarcities approach zero. Therefore we should let people use it as much as possible so that everyone can benefit from this technology. With the internet, we are one step closer to overcoming this world of scarcity!

    Copying is producing something out of nothing.

    When you create a digital copy, you produce one more for the world, which means one less deprived mind. This is an INSANE Concept! because it is literally something-out-of-nothing (since cost of reproduction is zero). Everytime we copy, that is ONE less unit of scarcity left for the world to face (as opposed to stealing, which subtracts one from another’s). Therefore we should arrange society to make use of this Gigantic Copying Machine as much as possible because it is Damn Awesome.

    But what is the State trying to do? It’s trying to stop it. It’s fighting it tooth and nail. It’s trying to turn the digital age back into the analog age. They are overturning human progress. [youtube] The FREE spread of information is integral to human progress.


    “If you could reproduce hot lunches at will with no incremental cost, no one would characterize that as a disaster, except perhaps the delicatessen industry. But today, where human knowledge can be reproduced at no incremental cost, our first response is to see to it how we can make that stop?? Human knowledge has through history been the prime factor that drives the human condition, our ability to enjoy our lives. The unfettered access to human knowledge improves us and makes us better.”

    – Cory Doctorow, Author and Digital Activist




    So can we please think of a way to incentivize creation that is not economically insane?

    See the cost of copyright

    See what we lose when we support copyright.

    There are better ways to arrange society that can have both artists getting paid AND free-use of the giant copying machine.


    Please visit forums.fuwanovel.org if you have further questions.

    IRC Channel: #Fuwanovel on Rizon. Click here to connect.

    Or you can email me:  aaeru@fastmail.fm

    Aaeru (fuwanovel.org)

    My blogs: Sharing is Liberty & Visual Novel Aer

    "What is wrong is that we have invented the technology to eliminate scarcity, but we are deliberately throwing it away to benefit those who profit from scarcity. We now have the means to duplicate any kind of information that can be compactly represented in digital media. We can replicate it worldwide, to billions of people, for very low costs, affordable by individuals. We are working hard on technologies that will permit other sorts of resources to be duplicated this easily, including arbitrary physical objects ("nanotechnology"; see http://www.foresight.org). The progress of science, technology, and free markets have produced an end to many kinds of scarcity. A hundred years ago, more than 99% of Americans were still using outhouses, and one out of every ten children died in infancy. Now even the poorest Americans have cars, television, telephones, heat, clean water, sanitary sewers things that the richest millionaires of 1900 could not buy. These technologies promise an end to physical want in the near future. "We should be rejoicing for mutually creating a heaven on earth!" Instead, those crabbed souls who make their living from perpetuating scarcity are sneaking around, convincing co-conspirators to chain our cheap duplication technology so that it won’t make copies at least not of the kind of goods they want to sell us. This is the worst sort of economic protectionism, beggaring (i.e. impoverishing) your own society for the benefit of an inefficient local industry. The record and movie distribution companies are careful not to point this out to us, but that is what is happening."

    – Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Gilmore



  • R 5:09 am on August 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Innovation   

    Jeremie Zimmermann: 15 years of fighting the sharing of culture in the name of an obsolete copyright regime 

    Jeremie Zimmermann from La Quadrature du Net sez,

    “The Internet is the place where we meet, speak, create, educate ourselves and organize. However, as we are at a turning point in early web history, it could either become a prime tool for improving our societies, knowledge and culture, or a totalitarian tool of surveillance and control. After 15 years of fighting the sharing of culture in the name of an obsolete copyright regime, governments of the World are uniting to control and censor the Internet. The black-out of the Egyptian Net, the US government’s reaction to Wikileaks, the adoption of website blocking mechanisms in Europe, or the plans for ‘Internet kill switches’ are all major threats on our freedom of expression and communication. These threats come from corporations and politicians, unsettled by the advent of the Internet.

    As a host of the G8, France’s president Nicolas Sarkozy wants to step up centralized control over the Internet. He has convened world leaders to a summit aimed at working towards a ‘civilized Internet’ a concept he borrowed from the Chinese government. By creating fears such as ‘cyber-terrorism’ their objective is to generalize rules of exception in order to establish censorship and control, thereby undermining free speech and other civil liberties. They will package this policy using words like ‘democracy’ and ‘responsibility’ but look at their acts. Sarkozy has already enabled disconnection of citizens from the Internet and the censorship of online content in France.

    The Internet allows us to express our opinions universally. The Internet unites us and makes us strong. It is a space in which the common civilisation of our diverse planet meets. Our imaginations, through all kinds of media we create and publish, help us protect our rights and a free Internet. As world leaders gather at the end of this month, we must all come together and use our creativity to reject any attempt at turning the Internet into a tool of repression and control.”


  • R 9:08 am on July 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Innovation   

    Jeffrey Tucker: IP laws are a remnant of a precapitalist age 

    If you look at the origins of these two institutions, we can see the essence of what is going on. Copyright originated as a government restriction on printing during England’s religious wars. As it developed, it had nothing to do with individual rights and everything to do with protecting dominant publishing firms against competition. It is the same with patent, which grew out of the mercantilist experience of Europe in which the prince would grant one producer rights against all competitors. Both are designed to slow down innovation and drag out the process of economic development with government restrictions. For this reason, the idea that IP somehow creates an incentive to innovate is completely wrong; in fact, the reality is precisely the opposite.

    The advent of the liberalism of the 18th century gradually wiped out most of these antique institutions and replaced them with competitive capitalism. But in the world of ideas, these protections remained and became worse, especially in the latter part of the 20th century. They are remnants of a precapitalist age.

  • R 12:59 am on July 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation   

    Swiss Government: Innovate or Die 

    “Every time a new media technology has been made available, it has always been abused’. This is the price we pay for progress. Winners will be those who are able to use the new technology to their advantages and losers those who missed this development and continue to follow old business models.”

    • Swiss Government


  • R 9:53 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation   

    Alan Story: history of TRIPs 

    “A small number of US companies,
    which were established players in the knowledge game (see Chapter 3),
    captured the US trade-agenda setting process and then, in partnership with
    European and Japanese multinationals, drafted intellectual property
    principles that became the blueprint for TRIPS (see Chapters 8 and 9). The
    resistance of developing countries was crushed through trade power (see Chapter 6).”

    • Alan Story

    page 12 Information Feudalism

  • R 9:44 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation   

    “…This hypothesis that creative acts are uniformly economic acts is problematic for several different reasons, as we hope to demonstrate. First, it assumes an (in fact unproven) economic motivation for all acts of creation, and then presupposes a uniformly significant correlation between economic incentive on the one hand and innovation and creativity on the other. Second, it conflates the motivations and interests of individual creators in widely different circumstances with those of vendors. Third, it fails to distinguish, by ignoring the importance of moral rights, between the interests of various categories of creators in intellectual property protection.”

    • Alan Story
  • R 9:42 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation   

    IP, the Internet, Culture, and the Business of Culture

    The most pretentious argument being made in favor of limiting access to and use of the Internet in order to preserve entrenched powers is that grassroots cultural participation and the democratization of creativity will result in the degrading of American culture. While there are many problems with this “argument” (or what may perhaps be more properly considered a condescending worldview than an argument), our essential disagreement with it boils down to two ideas central to American democracy and American culture: inclusion and empowerment. The democratization of the means of creating and disseminating cultural works both includes and empowers more people than do entrenched power centers.
    Culture is not something reserved to an elite. No particular business or set of businesses and no particular business model should be protected from the winds of innovation and change in the name of preserving culture. A people’s culture is just that – the people’s culture.

    • IIPSJ

    https://plus.google.com/115958040764540124496/posts/Zb1k9feAmCP {continued}

  • R 9:09 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation   

    The culture of copying: “What is the kind of ownership model in a digital world that’s gonna lead to the most innovation?” 

    While a musician can be sued for stealing a hook, fashion designers are praised for knocking off the right vintage look. What gives?

    More than any other industry, fashion treats a far larger portion of its creative output as a commons – shared resources that can be freely reused and transformed by other creators. In some ways, the history of fashion is the simultaneously whimsical and serious story of an industry that continues to grow and prosper via Sir Isaac Newton’s maxim, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” If innovation, regardless of the sector, is driven by previous innovation, then extrapolation to the fashion industry should apply. It can be postulated that the unrestricted access to previous works – the rip-off, knock-off and outright copying of garments – are exactly what has propelled design through the ages. Led by Lear Center Senior Fellows David Bollier and Laurie Racine, this project explores the creative process in the fashion industry, the effects of copyright and trademark law and the relationship between fashion and entertainment.

    Two of the most prodigious and prolific sectors of global culture – music and film – are ensnarled in very public, long-term conflicts over the control of creativity. Much of the controversy revolves around the scope of legal protection that creative works should enjoy and whether prior works may be freely re-used. It is striking that the fashion industry, which is a $298 billion dollar market in the United States alone, is driven by similar market forces and yet manages its creative output so very differently. Rather than rejecting derivation and appropriation outright, the fashion industry has found a way to incorporate these practices into the core of the industry while continuing to be competitive and innovative.

    • Johanna Blakley: Lessons from fashion’s free culture


  • R 8:28 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Innovation,   

    Violating our natural rights in the name of intellectual “property” 

    “If you look at the origins of these two institutions, we can see the essence of what is going on. Copyright originated as a government restriction on printing during England’s religious wars. As it developed, it had nothing to do with individual rights and everything to do with protecting dominant publishing firms against competition. It is the same with patent, which grew out of the mercantilist experience of Europe in which the prince would grant one producer rights against all competitors. Both are designed to slow down innovation and drag out the process of economic development with government restrictions. For this reason, the idea that IP somehow creates an incentive to innovate is completely wrong; in fact, the reality is precisely the opposite.
    The advent of the liberalism of the 18th century gradually wiped out most of these antique institutions and replaced them with competitive capitalism. But in the world of ideas, these protections remained and became worse, especially in the latter part of the 20th century. They are remnants of a precapitalist age.
    In the digital age, when ideas can be multiplied by billions of times in a matter of seconds, the notion of IP protection becomes ridiculously outmoded. And it is for that very reason that enforcement is being stepped up and now threatens free speech and the freedom to innovate. Ultimately, a consistent enforcement of IP would shut down free enterprise as we know it.”

    • Jeffrey Tucker


  • R 8:09 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation   

    Artists need more than just money. They need freedom to copy and re-use culture. 

    Artists need more than just money. They need freedom to copy and re-use culture. This freedom is much more important to the progress of knowledge than any artists’ need for a paycheck. It is not worth impeding the advancement of knowledge (which is the very thing that drives & improves the human condition) to help artists profit. See Everything is a Remix by Sam Ferguson.

    “Because if you can’t learn from others, then you can’t innovate yourself or make any useful innovations. Innovations require learning. Development requires “emulation”. And if you make emulation illegal, you shut it all down.”

    • Sam Ferguson
  • R 7:47 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation   

    Your holding of a copyright over a certain work isn’t about money at all. It is about control. 

    “Your holding of a copyright over a certain work isn’t about money at all. It is about control. You want to control my use of what you have claimed to be your work. You want to control who I show it to, if anyone. You want to control my use of the expressions or ideas for the purposes of analysis or criticism. (in otherwords) You want to force me… to ensure that I do not quote your words out of context. When I copy your work without authorization, you have lost all of this.
    But where we disagree is whether you had any of this in the first place. And where I deeply disagree is in your assertion that it is somehow unethical (much less something that should be a criminal offense) for me to disrupt your control over me. Quite the contrary: I allege that it is inherently dishonest, unethical, and should be illegal, for you to assert that you can control me in any of these ways.”

    • Stephen Downes
  • R 7:44 pm on July 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation   

    The True Purpose of Today’s Copyright 

    The true purpose of today’s copyright (the corrupt version) is to make culture something you watch, not something you do.

    Expression is not ex nihilo from the brains of individuals, it is a social practice. Ideas have sex http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex.html

    What copyright does by banning our freedom to create derivative works, (e.g. fan translations) is that, it reshapes society to become a populace of consumers rather than peers engaging in culture with other peers. It enforces an author/audience relationship.

    Copyright arbitrarily makes production expensive, because you cannot recycle content. Which means it’s actually even harder to profit.

    This is an extraordinary amount of power that the State has, that they can control the minds and behaviour of its population to such an extent. This is not the true purpose of law, it is law that has been perverted. http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

    See Lawrence lessig’s (creative commons founder) TED talk. Copyright reshapes our realities. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhTUzNKpfio#t=4m34s

  • R 3:53 pm on June 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Innovation   

    No granted monopoly ever that I know of, spawned innovation. 

    Knowledge of innovation was spread by several means. Workers who were trained in the technique might move to another employer or might be poached. A common method was for someone to make a study tour, gathering information where he could. During the whole of the Industrial Revolution and for the century before, all European countries and America engaged in study-touring; some nations, like Sweden and France, even trained civil servants or technicians to undertake it as a matter of state policy. In other countries, notably Britain and America, this practice was carried out by individual manufacturers anxious to improve their own methods. Study tours were common then, as now, as was the keeping of travel diaries. Records made by industrialists and technicians of the period are an incomparable source of information about their methods.

    Wikipedia: Industrial Revolution (1790 to 1860)

    The thing that enable the Industrial Revolution was by far the free flow of ideas and the easy of deployment meaning there was no legal threats that could stop others from implementing anything, they learned and implemented what they needed and further developed and build upon what they gathered, that is what enabled the revolution not IP law which is a problem for the free flow and use of ideas.

    No granted monopoly ever that I know of, spawned innovation.

    What we see today is the total paralyzes of the industrial park in America because of it, a few big players are getting bigger and bigger at the cost of the little ones that are increasingly being squeezed out of the market and that will end the same way it ended every other time, with people breaking the law getting punished and eventually violence will breakout again, because the small players too need to find a way to make some money and they will get tired of being deprived of knowledge that could make that happen.

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