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RE: Essay on copying

Really?  I read this several months ago and thought it was just 
another example of an IP maximalist attributing a ludicrous 
position to those he opposes and carrying an obviously false 
analogy to extremes.  This is that self-satisfied sarcasm that is 
designed to appeal only to those who already agree with a 
position (like so much political rhetoric), but it does not seem 
to me to rise to the level of reasoned discussion.

To make only the most obvious point, paper currency depends for 
its function on the artificial creation of value that is not 
intrinsic.  Money is worth more than the paper it is printed on 
only because everyone agrees to treat it that way.  Intellectual 
property is worth more than its medium if and only if consumers 
find intrinsic value in it.  So money depends for its value on 
scarcity, whereas intellectual property depends for its value on 
being shared.  The artificial scarcity created by physical media 
was once a necessary evil for IP and a restraint on its reaching 
(or declining to) its real value.  The digital environment 
changes that in ways we have not fully mastered, but the same 
argument simply does not apply to paper currency.

Kevin Smith

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
[mailto:owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu] On Behalf Of Joseph Esposito
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2011 10:51 PM
To: Liblicense-L@Lists. Yale. Edu
Subject: Essay on copying

Members of this list may wish to look at this essay by a Canadian 
intellectual property about the case for making copies of 
currency.  I thought it was very insightful and recommend it 
highly, as it bears on many of the issues that have occupied this 
list over the years.

Short link:


Long link (this broke in my browser, but you can try it):


Joe Esposito