Technology Review: Richard Stallman: Intellectual Capital – Freedom Or Copyright?

“Then a new way of distributing information came about:
computers and networks. The advantage of digital information
technology is that it facilitates copying and manipulating
information, including software, musical recordings and books.
Networks offered the possibility of unlimited access to all sorts
of data-an information utopia….”

“That is the publishers’ dream, and they prevailed upon the U.S.
government to enact the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.
This law gives them total legal power over almost anything a reader
might do with an e-book. Even reading it without authorization is a

“We still have the same old freedoms in using paper books. But
if e-books replace printed books, that exception will do little
good. With “electronic ink,” which makes it possible to download
new text onto an apparently printed piece of paper, even newspapers
could become ephemeral. Imagine: no more used book stores; no
more lending a book to your friend; no more borrowing one from the
public library-no more “leaks” that might give someone a chance to
read without paying. (And judging from the ads for Microsoft
Reader, no more anonymous purchasing of books either.) This is the
world publishers have in mind for us.