From open source to open law

To change the ever stricter copyright laws, legal argumentation strands are to be developed cooperatively

In the knowledge or information society, knowledge is the means of production and the property that creates wealth. However, the digital media have created new challenges for the creators and users of knowledge "knowledge", which also includes entertainment offerings, have a "Disadvantage", because it makes duplication as well as worldwide distribution almost free of charge. Since the Web has attracted more and more people and promises a global marketplace for e-commerce, the copyright industry has been exerting increasing prere on legislators to protect the "intellectual property" to strengthen. Annual losses in the tens of billions of dollars, allegedly shrinking tax revenues and costing jobs, are invoked. And the lawmakers, who are giving their "creative" and thus secure their location, have so far followed the prere of the lobbies quite horribly, making laws stricter, adapting them to the Internet age and putting other states under prere to also go in this direction.

The tradition of the Internet is still alive. MP3 is exploding in a wave of success, Linux loves to revive the model of free software or open source in the field of software, even politicians like Al Gore are following the trend. However, there is still a lack of open, political and international discussion about the extent to which the locksmiths of copyright or patents can be used to protect intellectual property, also with regard to the long-term consequences "intellectual property" and whether more attention should be paid nationally and internationally to preserving or even expanding knowledge and access to information as a public domain.

In this respect, the project of the Internet expert and Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig is interesting, based on a current court case, to introduce something similar in the area of jurisdiction as open law, in addition to open source and open content, and at the same time to support a campaign for a changed copyright in order to ensure public access to literature, film, art and music. The idea behind this is quite simple and corresponds to the intention why copyright and patent laws were originally introduced in contrast to other forms of property. With a temporally and in the extent limited protection of the property and with it the utilization should be stimulated primarily the creativity and the progress of the sciences and arts for the benefit of the general public. The difficulty, however, lies in the details, namely to what degree the "intellectual property" The idea is that intellectual property must be safeguarded so as not to discourage creators in a capitalist society, while at the same time ensuring that works and innovations remain accessible to the public at large, which is also a prerequisite for science and, moreover, creates a creative climate. In contrast to material property, new intellectual property is created through knowledge, suggestion, further development, variation and adoption. Moreover, in the field of science and art, the economy of attention has always prevailed to some extent, where money can certainly be made, but which functions differently from the economy of attention "heavy" oconomy, in which the appropriation of resources and the means of production is in the foreground.

Lessig’s initiative is based on the extension of copyright protection from 50 to 70 years after the death of the author. Eric Eldred, the founder of Eldritch Press, has filed a lawsuit against the change, which took effect at the end of last year. Eldritch Press publishes rare and out-of-print books for free on its website. Lessig’s intention with Open Law is actually to invite a discussion among lawyers and others in order to find common arguments for the process. The idea is to support Eldred and to fight against the extension, but also to develop legal reasons how to open the copyright again in favor of the general interest: "The bigger ie here is to keep the Internet as an intellectual space for commentary and publishing", Lessig told Wired. "This space is threatened by the growing trend of ‘appropriation’."

Whether, of course, the parallel processing of "parallel processing" It is questionable whether this idea will be accepted by legal argumentation; after all, the lawyers want to earn money. But especially with some traps, which were of gross general interest or which concerned the catching, this idea could or should find appeal.

Lessig also calls for contributions to be provided with a kind of open content license, for which he uses the abbreviation "open source" "cc" suggests. Texts that start with "cc" (Counter- Copyrights), may be used, copied and rewritten by others. This is in contradiction to the exclusivity of copyright, the creation of a rough public domain is required.

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