posted Aug 03, 2003
in Communication Ethics

Communication Ethics book part for Conclusion (The Funeral Procession). (This is an automatically generated summary to avoid having huge posts on this page. Click through to read this post.)

The world "real" appears a lot in this chapter, more then good writing style would normally dictate. There's no way around the fact this chapter sounds so theoretical... well, there's one way, which is to make it about four times longer and show four or five examples of each point, but there's no way you'd sit through that. Instead I want to emphasize that each and every point here is backed up in the real world by real events. I've listed several examples already, there's more where that came from, and if you keep your eye out, you'll see more go by. As abstruse as this seems, each little point is manifesting itself in real effects, and the cumulative strain on the concepts currently used to think about copyright is cataclysmic.

The fundamental problems that copyright law was created to address still exist. There can be no denying it; in fact the problems have gotten much worse as the economic stakes rise. Unfortunately, the legal structures created to address these problems were based on certain foundational assumptions which no longer hold true.

If every foundational assumption of old copyright law no longer applies... expressions need not be in the consumer's hands, expressions can be promiscuous, expressions can't even be cleanly delimited... only one thing can be done: Throw out the old system! It's a bold statement, but there's just too many differences between the world of living, vibrant, intelligent software-based expressions and dead, static, constant matter-based expressions.


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