John Perry Barlow on Defending Free Speech and Creation against IP

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Really great defense of the sharing of creativity, by John Perry Barlow addressing a hostile panel at the e-G8.


"1) Creative Expression is not a form of property – the notion that it is, assumes the presence of a container that no longer exists.

2) Imposing old broadcast-era business standards on the future does not incentivise creators.

3) Imposing old broadcast-era business standards on the web, will break the web.

4) The control-structures demanded by the old broadcast-era businesses, are identical to those demanded by police-states.

5) We do not agree to the assumed need for:

a) IP law (at all) or b) increasingly draconian methods of imposing it on the internet

6) The people who are arguing for IP law are NOT creators, but the institutions that exploit them.

7) Optimising for scarcity in an economy where value comes from familiarity and attention, is insane.

8) The IP industries are not big or important enough to break the web.

9) IP is a profoundly, architecturally counter-productive means of mediating the relationship between creators and fans – which is inherently memetic.

10) Creators who actually create, are better off today than they’ve ever been – and the reason is not IP restrictions, it’s the web." (