[Linux-aus] Alternate models?

Janet Hawtin lucychili at internode.on.net
Mon Jun 26 09:13:03 UTC 2006

Hi folks

Are there good alternate models for sharing information which
are not based on DMCA and publisher right of way?

There must be models which do not make the packager and poster of the 
content the primary rights holder in a world where packaging and posting 
are the cheapest aspects of the process?

What does a non publisher led industry for distribution of electronic 
media look like from a legal perspective?

Is it worth drafting a set of proposed laws which would support our 
interests and those of creators and inventors?

As James's blog points out there is a vaccuum where drafting law
or even representing interest on our behalf is concerned.

Perhaps just saying no isn't enough if the politicians do not know how 
to make a yes.?

Here's a link to Eben Moglen's motherlode

The Invisible Barbecue, 97 Colum. L. Rev. 945 (1997). PostScript
Seemed to be written for us ;)

The basic distinction usually made, ... is between "telephony" and 
"broadcast." Switched communications between peers are conceived as 
private, but everything else tends to be seen as the purview of 
broadcast. This dichotomy expresses an unarticulated intention to cast 
the information society in an industrial mold. We can all call Aunt 
Sally, but only a few of us are "broadcasters," industrial producers of 
signal, which all the rest of us merely consume.

This is a metaphor only. As a metaphor it captures some aspects of the 
reality it describes. But one of the most important properties of the 
new technology is to eliminate the previously high cost of reaching a 
large audience. Any individual can reach through the use of network 
media such as the World Wide Web an audience far larger than the owner 
of several small television stations, and at no cost. The form of 
communication achieved is no doubt different, and it is obvious that the 
individual UseNet news post has not achieved parity with a television 
advertisement for an athletic shoe. But the metaphor of the broadcaster 
and the consumer conditions us to accept the maximum possible inequality 
as a natural necessity: a few talk and the rest merely listen. Spectrum 
need not be allocated around this conception; the historical 
justifications for doing so are among the forms of reasoning vitiated by 
the rise of complementary carriage technologies and the resulting death 
of "scarcity rationales."

Naturally the broadcaster model is favored by those whose economic 
interests it favors in turn. The broadcasters and the politicians have 
each something to offer the other, and both parties eschew thoughtways 
that would reduce the value of what they have to trade. That's how 
barbecue guest lists are made. But scholarship has a duty to transcend 
such self-serving limitations of discussion.

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