Off the keyboard of RE
Discuss this article at the Heros of the Revolution table inside the Diner
A LOOONNNNGGG time ago during the Napster controversy and procesutions being undertaken by the Music Recording Industry,Iwrote an article deconstructing Copyright Law over Intellectual Property called Clan of the Copyright Bear. It is republished here on the Diner from original publication on one of my Yahoo Groups from back in the 90s.
Suicide Murder of Aaron Swartz, a Computer Geek GENIUS who was attempting to Liberate Information on the net for public consumption has brought this issue back up to the Front Agenda in the current War on Liberty being prosecuted by TPTB on the rest of the world. Far as TPTB are concerned, they OWN all Information, not limited to just Music and Video, but really all the way to the Human Genome and ever idea ever Published anywhere on the Net.
By no means did the battle end with Napster of course, Digital Copyright Protection schemes have been pursued ever more vigorously, with Apple now overtaking even the Big Gorilla of Microsoft in this arena. Microsoft was mainly concerned with vigorously prosecuting anyone who Bootlegged their programs or Op Systems, but never concerned themselves much with content. So for most people, the attempt by Microsoft to fence in their programs didn;t affect them all that much.
Apple on the other hand is by all means possible trying to make it IMPOSSIBLE to copy information or move from platform to platform without going THROUGH Apple on the Cloud. Trying to get music onto your I-phone is a particular pain in the ass, you can’t just copy/paste the MP3 files, you gotta use I-tunes software to do this, and in my case at least they wanted me to register my Iphone on the Apple website AND drop a Credit Card number on, even though I wasn’t buying anything new.
I am sure many of you who have Apple Iphones and Ipads have noted that there is NO SLOT for and external memory card of ANY type, and not only that, no USB port either to stick in a Jump Drive or connect to an external CD-ROM reader. Pretty much the ONLY way to get anything INTO your I-Shit is to download it off the net, or in the case of videos, shoot it yourself with the I-Shit machine. If you do that and try to get it OFF the I-shit machine and it is a Big File, you pretty much cannot do that either, when you try to upload it to the web you get messages that the file is too big. There probably is some means of using Bluetooth links to another machine to do this, but I haven’t found the software for this and besides none of my older computers are Bluetooth enabled.
So for myself, I am completely SOURED on Apple Tablet/Smartphone products now, and will never buy another one of them.
On the other hand, I ALSO have a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, which is basically a Design Rip-off of the I-pad but not near so locked up as the I-pad is, preventing you from moving content on and off the machine. The Galaxy DOES have an external memory card slot, it accepts MicroSD cards, which now come up to 64 GB in size. It is still not easy to move stuff around on the Galaxy, but it is possible.
This is also an issue as far as eBooks are concerned. A Tablet is the Ideal Reader for such books, I have the smaller 7″ model of the Galaxy which fits in the Breast Pocket of any Blazer or overcoat, or into the leg pockets of Cargo Pants. Anytime I am sitting bored waiting on a line or in a restaurant eating, I can yank it out of my pocket and do some reading. However, I have to have CONTENT on it to read, and if I was to D/L by the Book, I could spend a fortune getting just a few books to read. I have however found a few websites which permit UNLIMITED downloads of such material, so what I am now doing for so long as this remains possible is to store such material on MicroSD cards, which I can later plug into the Galaxy for essentially ENDLESS reading material, far more than I could read in what remains of my lifetime.
Not only .pdf or .epub text style books are available either for this, you can download Audio Books as well, to play while you are driving the SUV in Traffic to Work or on your way to Walmart or to pick up the kids. Issue with these books is their huge size, 500MB and more each, so if you were to store them on an Ipad for instance with no external memory card, MAX you might be able to store on say a 32GB Ipad would be around 64 Audio Books, and then no room for your own Vids or anything else. With the Samsung on theo other hand, the number of Audio Books, Movies etc, anything highly compsuptive of Memory is only limited by your Pocket Book in terms of how many Memory Cards you can afford to buy. These days on Sale, and 8GB MicroSD card goes around $10, so you can store around 16 Audio Books on each. For pdf style Books, obviously the numbers are much greater, average size for these is around 3-5MB. At the OUTSIDE of 5MB each average, the 8 GB card will store 1600 Books! Many of these books, like for instance Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” which I have are over 3000 pages in length! So essentially, even on one small card, you can have more reading material than you are likely to be able to read in the rest of your life, at least as long as you can fill them up for free (or nearly so). You can’t do that on an Ipad though.
On a Monetization level, the big problem all along the way for computing has been the fact that a few Major Corporations like Microsoft and Apple have been consistently trying to prevent copying of material, which in the past was quite easy to do on a computer through the Copy/Paste system. Tablets however make such copy/pasting much more difficult, even if possible at all, so in terms of trying to collect and store information, it is still better done on a Laptop and then LATER transferred to your tablet simply for Reference or Reading. How long you will be able to do this for is an Open Question. It is clear that the hardware manufacturers are moving away from fully functional Laptops available to the retail consumer to essentially “Dumb Terminal” Tablets which are mainly only good for surfing the web, and hopefully from the POV of those running the show, SHOPPING, as just about every App you drop on encourages you to BUY something else.
The fact you can Copy information so easily isn’t just bad for the Corporations running the show here on a Monetization level, it clearly SUCKS for the Individual Writer, Musician or Programmer who wishes to control his Intellectual Property, which in many cases might have taken YEARS of that person’s life to produce. EZ example there, Edward Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” I mentioned before. If everyone can simply copy/paste this to their hard drive as soon as Edward Publishes, HTF can Edward make any MONEY off of it? He can’t, unless Access to the material is only through the Web and copying off the web is made impossible, which it can be or nearly so except for real good Hackers.
The IT people have more or less solved this problem for themselves by making ever fewer Programs you can install on your Hard Drive fully functional, instead they only provide these programs on the “Cloud”, and to use the program which really resides only on their own server, you have to pay Monthly Membership fees. Not only the Program only exist on their server though, often same is true of all your DATA as well. It is not easy to export data from most of these cloud programs. WordPress and SMF software I use are good examples of that. It sure would be nice if WP provided a Button I could hit on my Admin Screen and Download all the Blogs I have written to my hard drive, but they haven’t done such a thing. Nor can I easily Download all the Commentary inside the Diner on the SMF software either. To do either in total, I have to go to the Server on which these files are stored, and copy the entire files. I can’t read them though unless my machine is equipped with SQL Database software, mighty expensive and dificult stuff to install and work with. The only way for me to catalogue such material on my own hard drive is to tediously copy/paste and store material as it comes in, or as I go back and individually read through the archives. I do it sometimes, but mostly I don’t, and so the only place this information exists is on the server I contract for on a Monthly Basis.
For the more typical Writer or Musician or Videographer though who is producing the CONTENT, it has been far less possible to protect this content and still make it Avaialable for Reading/Listening/Watching. Anytime you download a book or music or video, the digital information is THERE on your hard drive, and should be possible to Save onto some media. To prevent that, the copying software of your computer is limited, but of course good hackers can work around that even if J6P can’t. At least that is true on a fully functional laptop, less true on Tablets which are limited in what anybody can do on the internal op system.
Is this good or bad though? It SEEMS bad from the POV of the creator/inventor of some Intellectual Property on the Monetary Level, because if people CAN freely Copy your Ideas this way, YOU can’t make any MONEY! So what then is the INCENTIVE to CREATE, if you cannot make MONEY from it? If you can’t PROTECT your ideas and Make Money from them, why bother to have any ideas at all?
For Aaron Swartz, he simply wanted to Liberate Ideas that essentially were already paid for by Public Tax Dollars anyhow. However, the people who CONTROL those ideas and information don’t WANT it liberated this way; they want to continue to SELL it and extract more PROFIT from it. This is not really different from the Ownership of Land, in the sense that if you OWN the Land, you can continue to extract profit from each new year of Crops it produces, until of course the Land is depleted, or the Climate changes and drought hits. Ownership of any kind of Property, including Intellectual Property, allows anyone who “Owns” it to continue to extract a rent from everyone else who needs it or uses it, for so long as they can control that Ownership.
Just like Monetizing the Land through Property Ownership though, Monetizing Intellectual Property creates classes of Haves and Have Nots, of Renters and Rentiers. It is a form of Intellectual Feudaism. IMHO, NOBODY can “own” the land we all are dependent on; nor can anybody “own” ideas which once they are out there belong to all. Nobody comes up with new ideas without Standing on the Shoulders of Giants that came before them. It is the product of the totality of the Human Existence on Earth.
Here on the Diner, its all Free for the taking here, I foot the bill and it is my Gift, for whatever it might truly be worth. To be able to Give this way, obviously I gotta have other sources of income to Pay Da Bills. If you DEPEND on your Intellectual Property rather than your daily work for your income, you will seek to protect it and prevent others from copying it without paying you for it. That is the motivator behind the Patent/Copyright laws, and that is why Adam Swartz was so hounded, and then Murdered. What he was doing upset the very foundation of the Property Ownership society the Illuminati built up here over lo these many Millenia.
For as long as Money remains the meme here, to all Musicians, I say to you, be Paid for your performance, your Concerts. Not endlessly for your Recordings. To Writers I say be paid for your Lectures and for discussion of your ideas, but not endlessly for your Books. To filmakers I say be paid for the First showing in the Theatres on the Big Screen, but not for every DVD made from your movie. You should be paid SOMETHING for Ideas of Value which others read/lsten or watch as long as Money is the meme, but ENDLESSLY? No. It devalues real work, and it is counterproductive to the free flow of information.
For what it is worth, I walk the walk I talk. I take no money for what I write, nor will I ever. Perhaps it is not worth much anyhow, but I sure put in plenty-o-time writing it and even at Minimum Wage, it would come to quite a bit of change these days. LOL.