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Annalee Newitz replies to comments on "why I infringe" article

Previous Politech message:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 10:00:30 -0400
From: Annalee Newitz <Annalee@techsploitation.com>
To: declan@well.com
Subject: why I infringe responses

Several people have responded on list to my op-ed without fully 
understanding my argument. I'm not arguing for the abolition of 
copyright -- I'm arguing against our current IP ownership structure, in 
which a few corporations own the vast majority of copyrights. As I state 
quite clearly, I don't have a problem with people owning IP as long as 
that ownership is much more equally distributed.

One of the biggest problems in the copyright debate is that people have 
a tendency to take an "all or nothing" approach, as some of my 
respondents seem to do. One points out the "irony" that I've copyrighted 
my column about violating copyright. But there is a vast difference 
between me owning the copyright to my article and Disney owning it. In 
one case, I own the product of my labor and I'm free to do with it as I 
like. In the second case, Disney owns the product of my labor and can 
forbid me from doing anything with it.

As we attempt to reform the copyright laws, it's crucial that we 
remember that there is a just and equitable way to deal with IP. We 
don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We just need to 
make sure that nobody is hoarding copyrights, and keeping the rest of us 
from getting on with our creative work and the financial rewards that 
might bring us.

Annalee Newitz

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