March 30, 2005

The Emperor’s Clothes

Category: Politics — Biella @ 10:20 am

Everyone said, loud enough for the others to hear: “Look at the Emperor’s new clothes. They’re beautiful!” … “What a marvellous train!” A child, however, who had no important job and could only see things as his eyes showed them to him, went up to the carriage. “The Emperor is naked,” he said. ”

In the world of IP and politics, there is a now a child who says “The Emperor is naked” although it is not really a boy but a movement of laboring bodies who have chosen to produce software without the restrictions of IP law. In the process, and without stating it, they have punctured holes through the ossified assumptions justifying a regime that has only become more powerful and intrusive in the last twenty years. The logic is not so water tight anymore, water rushing through, a wave that more than anything has brought in debate over the future direction of IP law.

FOSS by acting like this kid, has not pronounced a blanket statement that has changed minds but has opened a debate and a debate it is. Along with the prolific rise of new technologies like p2p, the debate is ever more fiercer especially as different parties fight it out in America’s top court.

The coverage on the MGM vs. Grokster case in the mainstream news (look above) and the blogsphere has been steady and excellent. Worth checking out are Mako’s, and Timothy’s blog and Corante who have good on the ground summaries and all the right links.

What I was somewhat surprised by was at the NYT’s editorial “When David Steals Goliath’s Music.” It is as if the media relations staff from the Emperor’s entourage wrote it. Presenting the issue as in a black and white tone, this deserves a much more complicated hue of colors..

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