Against censorship essay introduction

There is one group of people not shocked by the record industry's policy of suing randomly chosen file sharers:

Against censorship essay introduction

They already know what everyone else is slowly finding out: But now that the Internet has given us a world without distribution costs, it no longer makes any sense to restrict sharing in order to pay for centralized distribution.

Abandoning copyright is now not only possible, but desirable.

Against censorship essay introduction

Both artists and audiences would benefit, financially and aesthetically. And the old canard that artists need copyright to earn a living would be revealed as the pretense it has always been. None of this will happen, however, if the industry has its way.

Even today, they continue to campaign for ever stronger laws against sharing, for international treaties that compel all nations to conform to the copyright policies of the strictest, and most of all to make sure the public never asks exactly who this system is meant to help.

And by positioning the issue as a contest between the Beleaguered Artist, who supposedly needs copyright to pay the rent, and The Unthinking Masses, who would rather copy a song or a story off the Internet than pay a fair price, the industry has been astonishingly successful. Yet a close look at history shows that copyright has never been a major factor in allowing creativity to flourish.

Copyright is an outgrowth of the privatization of government censorship in sixteenth-century England.

Against censorship essay introduction

There was no uprising of authors suddenly demanding the right Against censorship essay introduction prevent other people from copying their works; far from viewing copying as theft, authors generally regarded it as flattery.

The bulk of creative work has always depended, then and now, on a diversity of funding sources: The introduction of copyright did not change this situation.

Although the industry would like us to believe that prohibiting sharing is somehow related to enabling artists to make a living, their claim does not stand up to even mild scrutiny.

For the vast majority of artists, copyright brings no economic benefits. Not coincidentally, these stars are who the industry always holds up as examples of the benefits of copyright.

But to treat this small group as representative would be to confuse marketing with reality. That is why the stereotype of the impoverished artist remains alive and well after three hundred years.

The first copyright law was a censorship law.

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It was not about protecting the rights of authors, or encouraging them to produce new works. So energizing, in fact, that the English government grew concerned about too many works being produced, not too few. The new technology was making seditious reading material widely available for the first time, and the government urgently needed to control the flood of printed matter, censorship being as legitimate an administrative function then as building roads.

The method the government chose was to establish a guild of private-sector censors, the London Company of Stationers, whose profits would depend on how well they performed their function. The Stationers were granted a royal monopoly over all printing in England, old works as well as new, in return for keeping a strict eye on what was printed.

Their charter gave them not only exclusive right to print, but also the right to search out and confiscate unauthorized presses and books, and even to burn illegally printed books. The system was quite openly designed to serve booksellers and the government, not authors.

This was not simply the latest manifestation of some pre-existing form of copyright. People routinely printed works they admired when they had the chance, an activity which is responsible for the survival of many of those works to the present day.

One could, of course, be enjoined from distributing a specific document because of its potentially libelous effect, or because it was a private communication, or because the government considered it dangerous and seditious.

But these reasons are about public safety or damage to reputation, not about property ownership. There had also been, in some cases, special privileges then called "patents" allowing exclusive printing of certain types of books. But until the Company of Stationers, there had not been a blanket injunction against printing in general, nor a conception of copyright as a legal property that could be owned by a private party.

For about a century and a third, this partnership worked well for the government and for the Stationers.1. Foreword by David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Corruption is the cancer at the heart of so many of our problems in the world today.

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How many such dangers can your global monarch identify in time? EMs, nanotechnology, memetic contamination, and all the other unknown ways we’re running to the bottom. This can be done by providing too much information! Schechter gives an example of the Kosovo War, where briefers at NATO’s headquarters in Belgium boasted that this was the key to information caninariojana.com would gorge the media with information, Beelman writes, quoting one as saying, When you make the media happy, the media will not look for the rest of the story.

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