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Archived updates for Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Culture War Zone

According to Dan Hunter, we are in the middle of a culture war over the means of production for creative content in our society which is best viewed through the lens of a Marxist struggle. But this time, instead of a battle between state-sponsored communism and individuals, the Marxist "class warfare" has been recast as "Marxist-Lessigist" culture warfare. The revolutionaries are concerned with the extent to which capitalist ("corporate") intellectual property owners are gaining control over the mechanisms of creative activities, and the appropriate level of autonomy granted to individuals for expressing themselves.

However, the struggle over copyright and patent reform is not the real battlefield in this conflict. Instead, it is the rise of open source production and dissemination of cultural content that has demonstrated for the first time on a large scale that the incentive justification for intellectual property just isn't true once you put the means of production ("creative endeavor and dissemination") into the hands of individual authors and inventors without the need for significant capital contributions.
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