September 14, 2009

Link of the Random Interval of Time (LotRIoT): TechDirt

I read the TechDirt blog ( for the Intellectual Property (IP) and media stories, and that’s a big part of the content. TechDirt is run by Michael Masnick, who writes most if not all of the posts.

Masnick and I don’t seem to be near one another on the political spectrum; he comes across as a libertarian (and maybe a Libertarian, but I don’t know), whereas I’m more of a commie-pinko-socialist type. Nevertheless, we often arrive at similar positions on IP issues by different routes. And I agree with a few of the basic points he makes, in different ways, over and over: “intellectual property” is a metaphor, and a confusing one; the PR from publishing groups (whether print, music, software or film) exaggerates the rights of content creators and the problem of piracy, and minimizes the rights of the public — including the rights of content creators, when it comes to making use of existing content; and if you’re a scribe, you try to figure out how to make money from this new-fangled “printing press” gadget (or switch jobs), rather than asking for government restrictions on its use to protect your profession.

Agree with the positions or not, TechDirt consistently offers a thoughtful perspective on intellectual property issues.


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