Over on Play This Thing! Greg Costikyan reviews Paolo Pedercini's fascinating -- if simplistic -- Free Culture
So like, this is a Flash that has you moving little idea objects into the little heads of little ol' people who turn green when you feed them thoughts. When you feed the people ideas, they then poop out more ideas -- literally, off the top of their heads. A vacuum cleaner called capitalism keeps sucking up ideas to feed to the passive consumers, who have turned gray. By moving your mouse around to herd the ideas to the people, you keep the mojo flowing and eventually become the John Lennon/V for Vendetta guy of the game world, turning it into some kind of user-created-content lovefest. It's like the end of The Invisibles, but not as vivid.
The argument seems to be this: When ideas are shared, everyone gets richer, because the total number of ideas tends to increase in a recombinant explosion of creativity. Copyright is kind of fallacious, because all patterns of information are by default in the commons of vast, unexplored or previously explored possibility space. Ideas only become intellectual property when someone takes them out of the commons and stamps a (C) on it. The game is basically inviting you to say: "Fuck that!"
Researcher Yarden Katz scraped the database of Intellectual Ventures, a giant business that buys up patents, but produces nothing but lawsuits (previously), and discovered that IV claims ownership of nearly 500 patents that were created at public expense by researchers employed by public universities, and another 100 or so patents filed by the US Navy.
Kids’ author/droid builder Kurt Zimmerman created “Artoo Deco,” an Art Deco take on R2-D2, capable of movement under radio control, and with an in-built sound-system that makes cool, droidish noises.
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Courtesy of our friends at Boing Boing, this is Negativland speaking to you. Thank you for reading about all of our deaths over the past year and a half!
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