The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Monday, December 02, 2002

This week will see a legal decision, in one direction or the other, regarding the future of file-swapping of copyrighted material. Namely music and video; frankly, no one carries on a huge amount of document or book swapping through Grokster, BearShare, etc.

As is often the case, the more interesting component on a ZDNet page is the reader comments. In this case, it's the unbelievable stupidity on display. The fact that these morons can't grasp the concept of intellectual property--that, supposedly, it's not really "property" unless you can physically touch it--makes me indescribably happy that such issues aren't up for popular vote. As someone who works in the world of ideas, obviously I have a pretty good feel for the worth of ideas and concepts as commoditable property.

Of course, there are different levels of intellectual property protection. At the same time that courts on this side of the Atlantic are contemplating this issue, European lawmakers are leading a charge to dismantle similar protections as they apply toward patent law.