18 August 2009

Digression 1.1

I'm reading Digital Barbarism, A Writer's Manifesto, by Mark Helprin. In '07, Helprin's Op Ed piece in the NY Times about copyright attracted hundreds of thousands of irate letters and emails. Digital Barbarism, a defense of copyright, and intellectual property in general, is Helprin's response. It is also a scathing critique of the Creative Commons "movement." Helprin writes: "The most afflicted, deformed and unconscious are yet miraculous by virtue of the human nature that, in imitation of the machine, we mistakenly strive to exclude from our deliberations." How can we defend the rights of the little guy, Helprins wonders, if we take away the rights that protect him from plagiarists, "content sharers" and digital samplers? The ability of artists, writers and musicians to make a living, and to protect their own unique voices in the marketplace, may someday disappear in a tech culture where everything is collaborative, and personal vision is dismissed as a form of monopoly.

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All original text (C) 2007, 2008 David J. Carney. All rights reserved.

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