Книга: Code 2.0

Choices

Choices

I’ve argued that cyberspace will open up three important choices in the context of intellectual property: whether to allow intellectual property in effect to become completely propertized (for that is what a perfect code regime for protecting intellectual property would do); and whether to allow this regime to erase the anonymity latent in less efficient architectures of control; and whether to allow the expansion of intellectual property to drive out amateur culture. These choices were not made by our framers. They are for us to make now.

I have a view, in this context as in the following three, about how we should exercise that choice. But I am a lawyer. Lawyers are taught to point elsewhere — to the framers, to the United Nations charter, to an act of Congress — when arguing about how things ought to be. Having said that there is no such authority here, I feel as if I ought to be silent.

Cowardly, not silent, however, is how others might see it. They say that I should say what I think. So in each of these three applications (intellectual property, privacy, and free speech), I will offer my view about how these choices should be made. But I do this under some duress and encourage you to simply ignore what I believe. It will be short, and summary, and easy to discard. It is the balance of the book — and, most importantly, the claim that we have a choice to make — that I really want to stick.

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