Friday, November 26, 2010

The history of copyright from 1831-1891

A free book on the history of copyright in the United States from 1831-1891. I'm fascinated with almost everything from this period of time as I think it more closely represents how information currently moves in society as compared to the aberration that was the 20th century. I plan to start reading it today. You can get the book here: Pimps and Ferrets: Copyright and Culture in the United States, 1831-1891

A taste:
In the republican model of authorship, an author’s purpose is to
contribute to the public good, to educate and inform, promote virtue,
and to fight tyranny. For an author to depend upon the largess of a
patron is seen as slavish. However, instead of proposing that the
author’s livelihood be based on a property right to their work, this
ideology concentrates upon lowering barriers to entry and extending
authorship to a broad swath of society. Taken to the extreme, in this
model there would be no professional authors – but every citizen
would have the education, opportunity, and civic duty to participate
in a populist public sphere by writing
Sounds like a perfect model where every citizen has access to a modern and ubiquitous printing press-- like we have today.

What else did you have to do this weekend but learn about copyright? We've strayed too far from its original intent. Join me in reading. Its even free!

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