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Copyrights are Human Rights (c) 1997 J. B. Pollack

         Copyrights are Human Rights (c) 1997 J. B. Pollack 
  All rights reserved. you must keep the copyright notice on this slogan
  but can reduce the fontsize.  (Bumper stickers dealers please contact
  me for licensing.)
  Mark Hind's "harry deel" posting reminded me of this thought I had
  during an annual China MFN/human right dilemma. Why did we care more
  about protecting Mickey and Microsoft Mouse, than Wei Jinsheng?
  The media couldn't link them but its obvious to me: Copyrights were
  designed to protect the creative human writer or songwriter or artist
  from others (bigger entities usually) profiting from their work.
  Communism could decide that copyrights don't exist and the state owns
  all IP, but it is more like a total disregard for the human right of
  authors that would allow widespread xeroxing of textbooks and records
  and cdroms.
  With its origin in human rights, however, copyright law may not scale
  up correctly to large scale informational property trusts.
  1) They use "work for hire" agreements to buy human
  creative labor at fixed prices and then resell infinite copies.
  2) copyrights do not address the "story," just the words in the
  book. So with enough resource one could take everyone elses stories,
  rewrite in their own words with workers for hire, and kill the creator's
  livelihood. (Myhrvold and Stallman agree that S/W patents are bad, for 
  different reasons!:)
  3) copyright law definitely doesnt anticipate the problems when the
  creative work is a universal service, like an interface, rather than
  an choice, like music or a novel.
  The human population is never forced into licensing upgrades of a novel.
  Professor Jordan B. Pollack   DEMO Laboratory, Volen Center for Complex Systems
  Computer Science Dept, MS018  Phone (617) 736-2713/Lab x3366/Fax x2741
  Brandeis University           website: http://www.demo.cs.brandeis.edu
  Waltham, MA 02254             email: pollack@cs.brandeis.edu