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Does Digital Piracy Mean Innovation is Coming?

pirates.jpgNot convinced by with our earlier post about licensing your content in the public domain as Tantek ???elik advocates? Then consider The Pirate’s Dilemma a new book that argues we need to re-think our entire approach to copyright, content and ownership.

Matt Mason, author of The Pirate’s Dilemma, has a short article up over at Torrent Freak which highlights some of what he claims are the book’s core ideas, including the notion that piracy is often a precursor to innovation (a kind of twist on the old idea that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery).

Regardless of whether you’re in line with our earlier piece suggesting that we might all be better off if no one owned content or you’re a die-hard supporter of copyright in all its current forms, Mason’s article is a thought provoking read. Here’s one excerpt worth noting:

We live in a world where it is legal for a company to patent pigs, or any other living thing except for a full birth human being, but copying a CD you bought onto your hard drive is considered an infringement of someone else’s rights. A place where an average law abiding citizen could owe more than $12 million dollars in fines if they were sued every time they accidentally violated copyright law in a single day. A society where it’s ok for each of us to be hit with 5,000 advertising messages every 24 hours, usually without our permission, but creating a piece of art and placing it in public yourself without permission can land you in prison. This isn’t just about the pros and cons of file sharing – this is about an entire species losing its sense of perspective, failing to understand the potential of one of its most precious (and yet most abundant) resources.

It certainly sounds like an interesting book and somehow it seems only fitting to download it via your favorite BitTorrent site.

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