Copy Protection | Commons

An article over at Wired looks into the relation between copy protection and the reality of a rational amount of ‘wiggle room’ that is typically provided by the legal system.

In reality, our legal system usually leaves us wiggle room. What’s fair in one case won’t be in another – and only human judgment can discern the difference. As we write the rules of use into software and hardware, we are also rewriting the rules we live by as a society, without anyone first bothering to ask if that’s OK.

Slashdot has an interesting discussion on it.

The Boston Review it its New Democracy Forum has a section on copyrights over here.

The purpose of Boston Review’s New Democracy Forum is to foster politically engaged, intellectually honest, and morally serious debate about fundamental issues of the day–both on and off the agenda of conventional politics–and to say something about how we might better address them.

Read Reclaiming the Commons by David Bollier.

One of the great questions of contemporary American political economy is, who shall control the commons? "The commons" refers to that vast range of resources that the American people collectively own, but which are rapidly being enclosed: privatized, traded in the market, and abused. The process of converting the American commons into market resources can accurately be described as enclosure because, like the movement to enclose common lands in eighteenth-century England, it involves the private appropriation of collectively owned resources.

>>Reclaiming the Commons

Shoot this problem’s been around for ages:

They hang the man and flog the woman

That steal the goose from off the common,

But let the greater villain loose

That steals the common from the goose.

English folk poem, circa 1764

2 thoughts on “Copy Protection | Commons”

  1. I believe this verse was written by Edward Potts Cheyney, in 1901.

    I think it is inconcievable for us to have no written account, had it been extant in the Victorian Era.


    The law locks up the man or woman

    Who steals the goose from off the common

    But leaves the greater villain loose

    Who steals the common from the goose. (Anon.)

    Common Wealth

    The law protected not the goose,

    When it let the villains loose,

    Where the law was so passive,

    So many villains now here live.

    Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair,

    Who protected common snatcher,

    Did not for the common care,

    Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher.

    Under the care of this pair,

    Were made the greatest common-raids.

    Theft that left common bereft,

    Were made most in the last two decades.

    So I find it no surprise: common crime is on the rise,

    For they have simply drawn a line, to arbitrarily define,

    What is crime and what is not, though in truth it’s ‘tommyrot’.

    The thieving of the bureaucracy, is stealing still from you and me.

    The thieving of the bureaucrat, to fund the ‘wanabe’ fat cat,

    With PFI, creates common debt, for children who’re unborn as yet.

    I’m sorry that I use derision, to prompt eye to open and envision

    The slow return to slavery that will be this pair’s legacy.

    It is clear you see for such low-cunning fraud-wit,

    To go thieving off-balance-sheet and escape audit,

    For, although we always inherited National Debt,

    We also inherited assets: real wealth to offset.

    The equivalent of this in the PFI boom,

    Is that you inherit a contract to consume.

    And whether you find that you want this or not,

    Already this share of your wealth they have got.

    Their contracts require they meet the ‘rat’s ends,

    Needs they ignore of those who the brass spends.

    Isn’t it strange, these two: right-wing: extremist,

    Bequeath to a free state such a fate: Stalinist?

    first publised:

    love and light


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