Sunday, 11 November 2007

Creativity Stifled

Larry Lessig talks about how creativity is being stifled by the Law. Its a very wide ranging talk and I can strongly recommend it.

I've been posting about DRM recently e.g. here and here and while Lessig's presentation tackled copyright in general, it is clear to me that the thrust of the argument is against technologies such as DRM. It criminalises people for no good reason.

The argument used is lets go back to what you used to do before the advent of technology such as the phonograph (record player to oldies like myself, or CD's to you younger folk). Musicians earned their living by traveling around and giving performances. Music was a shared experience. Lets go back to that.

The danger is not restricted to just this one area - stifling of creativity in the software area is another bone of contention with me. Software patents are stupid, and should be abolished. They are virtually only ever used (apart from a tiny minority of case) by companies to counter sue other companies, who might sue them for a copyright breech. So the only reason to have patents in software is to make lawyers rich. erm...

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