20 Mar 2001 MachX   » (Observer)

Possession of Information in the Digital Era - Copyright

The possession of information copyright in the new millenium should be treated as over. What's happening today? What is copyright today? People who produce anything, any kind of information that can be digitalized are losing the power to preserve it untouchable. Why? Information is something that you can't control. Any kind of information cannot be controled, except if you maintain it on your mind, just. The speed of the information, transactions, anything, is growing uncontroled and people are loosing the power over it. Maybe this initiation isn't clear, but we will analyze some cases to explain it.

The Napster Case

What do you think that is copyright? Ok, is the possession of intelectual property and if somebody want to use/misuse it, need to pay royalties. What is happening today? Nobody have total control over the exchange of information, of any kind. Why all the world knew about the Roswell case in the same week of happening? The easy and fast information exchange. It's obviuosly that internet wasn't the method of communication in that years, but the telephone and the fast ways of transportation, like airplanes, and the difusion of the press/TV were used to diffuse the information all around the world. The government were not able to hide everything, so maybe all we know it's the point of the line. Now, we have the faster way of communication that ever had been imaginated, the INTERNET. You can talk to anybody in any place of the world in real time, in a chat, audio or video. The world is not as larger than it was bout 40/50 years ago. And now we have the napster case... What happened? Somebody created a virtual community (that's our community nowadays) that can exchange some kind of virtual information, music in the referred case. But, in past millenium, music was intellectual property of the producer/singer. The napster community had all the chance to exchange something "free" (digital data) that contained something that isn't free (intellectual property). And then? Some artists have joined the club and turn free all it's properties, their musics could be exchanged all over the world, by napster, web pages, dcc exchanges, ftp servers, etc.. And how are they earning money??? They were earning money by the royalties? and now??? Ok, they needed to turn more creative! How much do you think that costs a little banner in a web site from a great artist? The TRIPLE !!! And now they are earning more money than before!!! But last-millenium artists, such that famous singer (read between lines - Madonna), started a movement to suspend the free exchange of musics. What happened (again?!?!?!)? A very clever person put out server outside the U.S.A., in a country that doesn't have laws inciding directly in the copyrights of digital information.

The Linux Case

As we all knows, Linux is a free software: you don't need to pay for it and if you want, you can adapt it for your needs, the font-code comes together. PRoperty of digital data is becoming something from the last millenium, anyone could have a operational system for him/her computer and it can be changed to become adequate to each application. And how Linus Torvalds and his friends are earning money? Publishing Books and giving speeches all around the world - what you have in your mind cannot be stolen!!! You can share it, but it cannot be copied. That's the point!

Last Words

Some people don't understand what is happening in these days, but a culture is changing, turned into an in-your-head knowledge. Why are computation/maths books so expensive? Because they had to be written in years! And if people depent of the information contained on it, they will pay 1,000.00 US$ for a miserable book with 500 pages! It's true, it's real. Digital information can be disseminated as a virus. In seconds, everyone who is interested on it will have it on hands. So, the exchange of values is turning our society more creative and more well informed. The phrase of the future (of the PRESENT, damn!!!) is: Information is Power.</i>

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