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Showing posts from July, 2012

Imitate, Assimilate, Innovate

This post on Techdirt caught my attention this morning for a few reasons. The article outlines the contours of recent debates about "intellectual disobedience," a term used in this video by Nina Paley to combine 'intellectual property' and 'civil disobedience' into an unapologetic stance on copyright infringement for the sake of one's art. While today's copyright laws are certainly in need of more user-friendly reforms (for author and non-author users), I'm not quite ready to go down the abolitionist path that "intellectual disobedience" leads to. The occasional intellectually disobedient use of a work might not be covered by parody, satire, fair use or other (affirmative) defense but such edge cases are a necessary means for courts to (attempt to) clarify a law Congress isn't ready to reform. Taken to its extreme, "intellectually disobedient" use of others' work would be a free-for-all, devoid of even the possibility o…