Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Dr. Weinberger on why DRM is anti-culture

David Weinberger has a delightful rant in which he tells a crowd of entertainment professionals assembled by the World Economic Forum:
Forget every other consideration . . . and see if you can acknowledge that a world in which everyone has free access to every work of creativity in the world is a better world. Imagine your children could listen to any song ever created anywhere. What a blessing that would be!
All things being equal, a world that shares art freely is a better world than one where access to art is stifled. And that's at least as important as Sony making its quarterly numbers.
We publish stuff that gets its meaning and its reality by being read, viewed or heard . . . But readers aren't passive consumers. [Readers] reimagine the book, we complete the vision of the book. Readers appropriate works, make them their own. Stifle that appropriation and you have literally killed culture.
Let us appropriate creative works because that's what it means to be a creative work. Keep fair use as the norm and compensated use as the exception. Cut us some freaking slack, because that's where and how culture grows.

One more thing. I've been arguing for using our new, remarkble global connectedness (unevenly distributed, to be sure) to foster the growth of cullture and civilization. That would make you the barbarians, I believe.
Do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

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