Subject: Re: crux of the essence
From: Jean Camp <>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 21:46:19 -0400

I do not necessarily disagree or agree.  I don't understand the 
implications. I intended to argue that we could return to copyright 
-- including the requirement that material to be protected be 
identified rather than the idea that everything is 'born owned' 
(Berne owned?); that copies be made available for educational 
purposes; that protection be  quite limited (ransom?); and that 
equipment owners not necessarily own all material created by the 

Do you intend your implication to be that we could simply afford more 
error in the creation of information markets when physical goods were 
critical and thus that copyright was fundamentally flawed from the 
beginning? And now we need a less flawed mechanism for assigning 
rights? And what would that be?

I would like to learn more about information ownership in non-Western 
culture. Does anyone have a scholarly reference for that? I have a 
world copyright book but it really just traces compliance with 
Western concepts of copyright after the end of Colonialism. Clearly 
those concepts of ownership as embedded in non-western cultures 
failed in comparison with the information ownership of the West with 
respect to harnessing the power of printed information for innovation 
but this does not mean that the other models will fare worse for 
harnessing digital information.


At 20:15 -0400 10/16/01, tony stanco wrote:
>  >>At 3:35 -0700 10/16/01, Tom Lord wrote:
>>>Seriously though -- if you can cite a particularly relevant piece of
>>>economic theory worth reading to get good ideas about the business of
>>>software -- especially free software -- and give convincing reasons
>>>for that cite, I'd like to read it.  Personally, I'm skeptical:
>>>software has all sorts of structural properties for which there is no
>>>good precedent in the history of human economic activity, as near as I
>>>can tell.  Surely you disagree...
>>Jean Camp wrote
>>I think perhaps the creation of copyright is the analogy. Copyright
>>is taken as a given now but it was quite radical when created. As the
>>press matured the regulation of information based on the scribal
>>model was found intolerable. Of course in any nation the regulation
>>of the press was tired to the revolutionary  age of the seventeenth
>>and eighteenth centuries. Yet in all nations copyright was found to
>>be the only reasonable way to control information.
>It is at least arguable that all economic theory of the last 300 years was
>premised on the concept of property, because it was trying to explain the
>Industrial Revolution and is therefore .....
>The new world of intellectual things are essentially different. They are
>most efficiently produced by inclusion, not exclusion or competition to the
>same degree. It is arguable that traditional economics, therefore, describes
>nothing in the new age and sends us in the wrong direction.  Of course, you
>can disagree and probably do...