This is just a few words on:
The Pirate Party’s solution for the global job crisis: valuing the swarm economy
By Michel Bauwens
29th March 2011
I’m not ready to present a substantial analyses of the Michael Bauwens’ and Rick Falkvinge’s ideas, but only some other notions they invoked:
- Open Source and alike movements correspond to Marx’s prediction that “free time economy” will emerge as the logical development of free market.
- OTOH, “knowledge based economy” corresponds to the same notion, as well.
- Both mentioned trends require self-determined activity and creativity from a “worker.”
- The later, in my view, is in radical contradiction to yet another trend: that of monopolization.
- I don’t know for sure what kind of monopoly is worse: IP or casual one, but do believe that IP is the worst.
- I doubt that any partial solution to the mentioned contradictions would provide for painless transition from “old economy” to some “new one.” I think it is necessary to come up with theoretical models to address major factors and players in those global collisions and possible consequences to any global action.
Few thoughts on _Copyright as a Fundamentalist Religion_ by Rick Falkvinge.
There is one more noteworthy analogy between pro-copyright social structures and church. It is believers, people. It is them who church relied upon and it is them, law obedient brain washed pro-copyright believers who really support copyright monster.
This point is the most striking one for me: “striving artists” support copyright. The great majority of musicians, painters, poets, writers, etc. barely make pennies out of their art, and they stand up for “their rights” whenever you question these. Virtually everyone who I talked to for years would support idea of art as realm of ultimate freedom, but would never come along with me to conclusion that copyright is in radical contradiction to this idea.
People would agree that you can sell your work to make money (not rights, but work), but they don’t come along to conclusion that salable rights are not necessary then.
People would agree that a law is to implement justice, that law cannot be a compromise in itself, which is the case with copyright, but they don’t come along to conclusion that copyright law contradicts very idea of law and justice.
And so forth.
I never took on the concept of trademark as such. For no reason. I actually didn’t specifically contemplated about patents either. All my thinking thus far was aimed at copyrights. Why? Because, first, copyrights, in my view, cause the greatest danger to culture and thus to contemporary civilization, and, second, copyrights commonly perceived as the least harmful kind of so-called “IP” (Intellectual Property). I want to slightly fill in the gap in my thinking today, for I encountered once again an argument (a comment on a Mike Masnick’s post at his Techdirt blog) that in fighting IP abuses it is necessary to distinguish between different kinds of IP, because they are regulated by different laws and are based on different rationale.
Well, it is probably necessary, but for what purpose? Casually the argument is used to justify one kind of IP against another or just to fight the very term “IP” for some reason.
I don’t see the either one as a right cause. I believe those who came up with the idea of IP were somewhat right for copyrights, patents and trademarks have a lot in common, since they all belong this or that way to cultural phenomena and drastically differ in this respect from material things.
Having said that I immediately conclude that trademarks are of no use and cause only harm. And now I can think about this specific harm or, which is much more interesting, what would be this world without trademarks whatsoever.
The first hypothesis is very easy to come up with, because I take it as an axiom that all relationships in the world of culture act in the opposite direction to those which seem analogues in the world of civilization (see Discrepancies between Two Worlds on this site). The simplest implementation of this idea here is just to presume that common rationale behind trademarks works right on the contrary to what happens in reality.
Let’s see. Suppose, there is no any restrictions in naming of a product, a company, a book and (it’s extremely important!) everybody knows and understands that. That is, a consumer, a customer, an audience do know they have to distinguish what they buy by its substance, not by name. This develops the situation when a product maker wishes to put on the product as much of the info as he possibly can and the law must be concerned with lies only.
Would it be profitable to make and sell counterfeits in such an environment or would it be better to develop your unique, let it be small and cheap, based on copying brand? When a customer is driven to look into and go after the substance the answer seems to be obvious. Thus, trademarks _must_ cause the opposite. Today a customer mostly relies on a brand name for the law defends it and pays less attention to the substance which is that very situation when a counterfeit becomes temptation for a product maker.
One important component of successful Authoright world is the ability of a distributor to indicate he is supporting the author.
Well, what do you know! The great people at QuestionCopyright.org are working on this exact concept. Their Creator-Endorsed Mark is an attempt to implement the way for a publisher to show his support for the author of a work in a recognizable, and, what’s important, legally-binding way, by using a trademark law.
Finally, our site is up and running. Thanks to close cooperation between Ilya and Sasha with Anatoly’s participation for three weeks everything seems in place.