Today at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference, I attended the Electronic Frontier Foundation's panel, "On a Brighter Note...", a talk about why we should be optimistic about the future of technological liberty. I took a ton of notes and uploaded them.
John Perry Barlow, EFF co-founder: I am still optimistic. I didn't expect that
the entire wealth of the industrial period would gracefully allow us to render
them irrelevant. They're putting up a spirited fight, but I don't think they'll
win. Victory comes to the patient. The content industry used to call me the
devil, now the same people come to me for advice on how to make it work for
them, they're abandoning their King Canute strategy. I don't think there's proof
that downloading has cost the record industry billions, for the same reason that
hearing a song on the radio doesn't cost a sale. There are lots of studies, but
no one can say for sure. Last year I asked Cary Sherman if he'd co-design a
study with EFF to give fair insight into what the losses or gains are from
downloading. He said, "I don't think we can do that. I don't believe my
constituents would allow that because it might turn out that you're right."
Wouldn't they want to know? "No, I don't think it's like that with them." It's a
matter of religious belief. They're near retirement, they can have any religion
they want. They'll be replaced by the electronic Hisbollah they've created with
their Draconian strategies, the wild-eyed 17-year-olds who hack DRM will beat
the 55 year olds in posh cars in Bel Air.
Can we come up with a regime for regulating the economy of ideas and the way of
getting paid for work you do with your mind that doesn't treat thought as a noun
and therefore subject to being treated as property.
The IP system is a gigantic kludge of patches that have been laid on in
different regimes, as it all goes to bits, it needs to be harmonized with a
regime that recognizes that this regulates the relationship of the creator and