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Motley Fool: Intellectual Property Is an Oxymoron

Aug 20, 2000, 13:04 (22 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Rob Landley)

[ Thanks to japhDoggy for this link. ]

"The last time I wrote about the continuing evolution of intellectual property, a lot of people didn't get it. They thought I was defending Napster. I'm not. Napster isn't interesting. Before Napster there was MP3.com (Nasdaq: MPPP). Before MP3.com there was the mp3.lycos.com search engine. A late July article from news.com listed a dozen alternatives to Napster and commented on the surge of traffic they've received as users look for alternatives."

"Times have changed. Today, books have given way to all kinds of digital information from text files to CDs to DVDs. Creating copies is no longer an abstract theoretical ability nobody can really do, but an easy, even trivial, action for anyone with a computer. Once ordinary people gain the practical ability to make their own copies, it becomes something they actually want to do. The old bargain is no longer a good deal for individuals or society as a whole, because the price is now very real, and very high."

"Richard Stallman, winner of a McArthur genius grant, founder of the Free Software Foundation, and grandfather of Linux (or GNU/Linux, as he prefers to call it), wrote an excellent piece about how the legal notion of copyright has outlived its usefulness to society. Ann Cockerham also wrote a nice informational piece for the American Library Association. Both are worth reading for more perspective on this issue."

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