[ILUG] John Gilmore on what's happening with copyright protection
bauwolf at indigo.ie
Thu Jan 25 08:31:03 GMT 2001
As per usual it seems that it's our ancestors that got us into this mess in
the first place. It's great being Irish, when we are not helping to build
something we are busy trying to rip it down in order to replace it with
something new. "Positive Nihilism"  I'd say.
"Intellectual property law can be traced back to Ireland in the fourth
century, where renegade bishop St. Columba snuck into Old Man Finnean's
library and copied his psalter by hand, and then gave copies out for free to
local churches. Finnean had an absolute fit, and dragged Columba's ass to
court, which meant King Diarmit's royal court. The King decreed "To every
cow its calf, to every book its copy", and fined St. Columba 40 head of
cattle for making an unauthorized copy. Here's the deal, though: Finnean of
Clonard didn't write the psalter in question, which is a book full of
psalms, he just owned it. The issue decided by Diarmit was about allowing
the wealthy and powerful to control the flow of knowledge, and allowing the
commoditization of information."
 The belief that destruction of existing political or social institutions
and creation of new ones is necessary for future improvement.
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