the future of copyright law

April 15, 2008

Just heard about the latest fight concerning Rowling’s copyright of the Harry Potter books and the encyclopedia that Steven Vander Ark want’s to bring out. It stands in a comical contrast to the previous post. Blog writers are generating content at a tremendous rate, and some are saying “please copy my content”, not caring where it is discussed as long as it is discussed. Book writers are generating content and fighting about copyright. OK, so some blog writers also worry about copyright.

I just can’t see how the extreme copyright fights of the past can be sustained in this climate. Can Rowling, or any blog writer, claim the copyright for everything they write? Doesn’t the community in which it was written, which provided the environment for the creativity to come out also have right on the “intelectual property” of what was written? Can an individual really claim “intelectual property” of anything? Obviously plagiarism is just wrong, but is that because it is stealing, or because it limits the conversation between humans if we don’t take you back to the source of an idea? Well OK, this was just a short thought, maybe I’ll put my thoughts into writing some other day.

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