Even with actual objects, no matter if mobile or not, ownership is all but a simple issue. From the ethical, moral, rational viewpoint, etc. …
It gets even harder when we are talking ownership of non-material, abstract, content or even “mental“ things. For life and survival, the latter basically is of no consequence – as opposed to a warm meal, clothes and a place to stay. And a little love. But there I remember: love, too, is something abstract, non-material. Can you own love? The phrase itself shows you how stupid the concept would be.
Debates about ownership of data and content are rather confusing. What exactly is this: data and content? And how can you own them? Who owns the date of birth of a human being? Does it belong to the mother (or the father), or to the child, or to the authorities where the child lives? Is it important who owns those data? Is the date of birth important at all? Does it exist at all in the course of the universe?
Who does a story belong to? Does it belong to the one who tells it or to the audience? What exactly is this: an idea, a concept, an invention, a story? What is its value? You cannot eat or drink it. So can it be something similar to money? A commodity of exchange?
Or is this about how something abstract can be made into money? Does such a thing as a unique story exist at all? Or is not everything based on something you experienced or learned? What can one individual person claim to be his own and what belongs to us all? Is the idea already the achievement, or is the value only created after it has been edited? Does something like justice exist?
Copyright and patents can be interpreted as the result of cunning businessmen’s work. They demanded that their interests be protected and then they put it into practice through good lobbying. Their – certainly understandable – goal was to gain a maximum of riches with a minimum of effort. Just like a Russian neo-oligarch who can become a billionaire in 10 years.
But is this goal (which actually was achieved) legitimate? Should you be allowed to “earn money” with the help of rights that have been scaled beyond all proportion – as otherwise is only possible if you are backed by capital? The motto would be: “here I am sitting at the beach and enjoying life while my money is working hard and very successfully for me”.
Except in this case it is the rights that work hard for those who own them. Historically, the entire copyright is simply another attempt at separating income from work and increase profit geometrically or even on a logarithmical scale, instead of linearly. Probably (and of course), it is all detrimental for the common good, i.e. for the people living on this planet and the planet itself.
So it is just a new method for increasing profit infinitely. Infinitely? Yes! We are talking billions – and for average citizens, one billion Euros feels like an infinite amount of money.
Thus, the interest group “intellectual property“ managed to initiate strange regulations and make them pass as law. The result is the current situation in the patent and copyright areas. These regulations have been promoted with arguments such as: otherwise there will be no progress. Mind you, those arguments were probably never true, but now, in the internet age, they have been definitely proved wrong. By now, “progress“ happens through a free sharing of knowledge. Even slogans such as “protection of intellectual property” will not make the slightest difference.
This is how knowledge and stories were confiscated (bought?) and privatized. The producers of content and illusions, in particular, claimed special rights in our cultural circle during the primitive times of media and start-up periods – and then they politically pushed those rights through with a strong lobby. Isn’t it remarkable that those laws are called “Micky-Mouse-Legislation”?
Many violations against laws thus passed, such as illegal copying, could be called self-defense. All you have to do is claim that the free sharing of knowledge is a necessary requirement for an innovative collaboration as part of the evolutionary development of humans.
Since my trip to China, I often feel Chinese. Chinese persons look upon themselves as one big family with no secrets. Regardless of the fact that there is no doubt they live in a dictatorship.
You have to share knowledge voluntarily in an open and free manner, simply in order to advance together! Isn’t the entire human race one family for which, basically, there may soon be nothing left but the struggle for survival?
(Translated by EG)
Two lines out of the wonderful song „Imagine“ (John Lennon):
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world … (yuhuuuh)