copyright and censorship (was Re: [FoRK] NewTube VS OldTube)

Albert Scherbinsky < albert at > on > Thu Oct 12 16:06:43 PDT 2006

My understanding is that copyright is one form of IP.
I also understand that the purpose of copyright is not
the "right to share information with one another" if
that property does not belong to the sharer. My
understanding of property involves ownership. Property
ownership is at the root of capitalism. I am a
capitalist not a communist.


--- Kragen Javier Sitaker <kragen at> wrote:

> On Tue, 10 Oct 2006 15:09:06 -0400 (EDT), Albert S.
> wrote:
> > There is a difference between protecting IP rights
> and
> > censorship. Removing copyrighted material isn't
> > censorship.
> [Leaving aside Luis's point that YouTube has
> sometimes removed things
> for reasons other than copyright infringement.]
> I suppose there are different definitions of
> "censorship" around, but
> it's certainly the case that copyright is sometimes
> used to prevent
> information from reaching the public, or from being
> widely
> distributed; that meets my definition of censorship.
> I think the only legitimate purpose of copyright is
> to *promote*
> public access to important information, by providing
> necessary
> financial incentives for the investment required to
> distribute that
> information widely, and using it for censorship is a
> perversion of
> that purpose.
> I also take issue with your use of the term "IP
> rights".  I know it's
> common practice in many circles to use the term
> "intellectual
> property".  However, I try not to use it, because
> it's a propaganda
> term that serves the ends of extremists, in the
> following ways:
> 1. It erases the important legal and moral
> distinctions between the
>    various legal restrictions it describes --- for
> example,
>    copyrights, patents, trademarks, mask-work
> rights, the sui generis
>    database protection rights Europe adopted a
> decade ago, design
>    patents, and so on.  Very little of any coherence
> can be said about
>    such a diverse collection of laws.
> 2. It frames the debate as one about "property", as
> if we were
>    discussing whether people had the right to
> shoplift, rather than
>    whether they have the right to share information
> with one another.

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