Archive for the ‘copyright’ Category

A bit about copyright

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

What is the notion of copyright?

Copyright was invented after the advent of the printing press and subsequent widening of public literacy.

The right by law to be the entity which determines who may publish, copy and distribute a piece of writing, music, picture or  other work of authorship.

U.S. Constitution.

Article 1, section 8

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
On August 13, 1813, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Isaac McPherson which included part of this debate.
If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.
The full letter explains in a very eloquent way the fact that intangibles such as ideas are entirely different from physical/tangible things.

So where are we now?

Copyright basics are here at the Library of Congress,

Creative Commons was set up to provide copyright licenses that allow for sharing and reuse without explicitly asking for permission

Examples of  CC licenses  at –

Lawrence Lessig gives a great talk about copyright