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What Stewart Brand Said

Dear liblicense-l Readers:  I'm taking a listowner's prerogative tonight
and sending a second message, a kind of moral paradox for our times,
because receiving this from another e-mail list via a colleague made me
think of the numerous exchanges on this list and many others, regarding
the price of information.

"Information wants to be free."

That was Stewart Brand's creation, originally uttered in 1984, at the
first Hackers' Conference, and printed in a report in the May 1985 "Whole
Earth Review." It later turned up in his book, "The Media Lab:  Inventing
the Future at MIT," published in 1987:

"Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive.
Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute,
copy, and recombine---too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because
it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go
away. It leads to endless wrenching debate about price, copyright,
'intellectual property', the moral rightness of casual distribution,
because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better."

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