Friday, May 01, 2009

Horse trading

On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 9:52 AM, Jeffrey A. Williams
<> wrote:
> Jeremy and all,

> Americans interests in this instance
> should come first but in a fair way
> with our Trading partners around the world.


It seems fraught to me to have an issue like copyright horse traded.

It has become clear through the previous discussions that the DMCA, especially in regards to DRM/TPM, runs at odds to civil rights and accessibility. Incongruent law is generated because the trade process sidesteps or bulldozes public interests.

Since the printing press copyright has been used as a means to find a balance between the social function of information, our peace with our possessions, and the business of making and distributing ideas.

We now use methods of publishing and distribution which do match the printing press' single point of investment model. We could do with rethinking the social/business balance around ways to multiple points of contribution and where publishing is trivial, and creation is living and participatory.

A single point of value with a distributed social cost is no longer a good value mapping for the ways that we can express information.

A trade negotiation is not a suitable context for negotiating that kind of civil infrastructure. The public interest is not effectively represented in the mechanics of trades processes. It leads to the kind of gaming and hypocrisy which Consumers International have pointed out.

Repeal of DMCA would be a useful first step.
The crucial aspects of the social functions of information need to be able to flow in the interests of world health, ecology, community. Our means for valuing innovation should not effect obstacles to world health, our means for innovating with agriculture should not cause risk to ecologies or encourage the development of nonviable species for commercial interest. As a species we need to look at our methods for valuing to see if they are responsible to our biodiverse context, as a community of people we need to value in ways which do not cause inhumanity.

A tragedy of the commons is a choice, it is a prisoner's dilemma kind of choice. There is no tragedy in contexts where the participants choose to act for the common good.

If our systems for generating law are engineered through trade processes the underlying precepts are grounded in individual advantage. If they are developed in piecemeal increments with global agreements we get a uniform obfuscated law because the process is only practical in small pieces at a global scale. The result is that copyright is not a comprehensible model of valuing for public use.

If a child cannot confidently wield the fabric of their cultural context because it is damn near impossible to figure out what is legal and what is not then the method for valuing is costing society both in the right to participate for new generations, and in their ability to see legal frameworks as viable and reasonable systems. ie It erodes lawfulness to have incomprehensible law which results in more people choosing for their own interests rather than any common good.

DMCA is a problem. DRM/TPM technologies are not a workable solution to a social question.

If we did not have the Statute of Anne heritage, and we were looking at our current means of production/distribution and social function with information what kinds of models for valuing could we make? How would we ensure that they always kept strong ecological and humanist values and also helped value to accrue to effort and investment?

[Janet XYL]


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selinks659 said...


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