Copyleft is not Communism

If you communalize my tractor, I don’t have it any more. If you copy it, we both have one.

7 comments to Copyleft is not Communism

  • No – if I copy it, we both have one; if you communialize it, we all share it.

    So you will it have it either a) sometimes or b) to a certain extent.

    Nothing wrong with the ideals of communism, only the idiots of communism.

  • Thank you. I’m glad I’m not the only one who saw that problem with Colbert’s logic.

  • Regardless of the merits of communism and capitalism, Copyleft is irrelevant to either. Both communism and capitalism are based on limited resources. Intellectual wealth is not limited. How we best economize limited resources – food, shelter, physical objects – is still debatable, but that debate has nothing to do with infinite resources like copies. Copyright imposes artificial scarcity on an otherwise infinite resource, in order to force it into obsolete economic models.

    Practically speaking, I’m as strongly opposed to communalizing resources that can be freely copied, as I am to privatising them. Neither is as beneficial, and both require excessive enforcement.

    Certainly anyone who likes free markets should support copyleft. As should anyone who likes free speech.

  • DSM Grant

    I agree with you.

    Generally though, I dislike a certain new media mantra that all middlemen were and are obsolete. With most record labels or movie distribution paths being handled by lets say fickle people I can understand the enthusiasm for tech to open up distribution paths for artists and media. Yet copying tractors is great, unless you sell tractors for a living.

    Everything is so interconnected and at the same time technology makes the distribution paths more absolute. There is no longer a path between two points, and this is great if the middleman was an obstruction, not if the path was various community structures.

    The conflict is when things that have artificial scarcity imposed on them were holding up or assisting meeting needs of real scarcity and shift without replacement aside from a ‘guess its a big new technologically changed world’ refrain. Particularly when artists who do find a niche in new media opening for them are still ankle braceleted to a still present concrete world whose real estate still gets horded, and full of people who will still interact to form what the world will be. It’s hard to stay warm with Ipods and streaming video. Seriously, you’ll use up all your kindling just to start on those tiny earphones.

    And like that, I’ve buzzkilled myself. Internet! Manilo!

  • Haukur Þorgeirsson

    Hey, Nina! I’ve recently learned of your film and the copyright issues you are having. I’m inspired by the approach you have taken.

    I suggested to Jimbo Wales, founder of Wikipedia, that this was a free culture cause he might be able to promote in some appropriate way. He responded positively, suggesting maybe you could contact him so he could learn more. See here.

    I hope you do contact him if you think there’s a chance that could go somewhere useful :)

  • The problem with the communal view of property is that, in the case of this particular tractor, it’s mine! I own this particular tractor and the communal view would force me to relinquish the full control of it. I’m a nice person who doesn’t mind lending it out to all who need it, but at the end of the day I make the final call on who, when, where, and how it gets used. The ideals of sharing shouldn’t be government enforced.

    Thankfully, none of that matters a bit in terms of information distribution. :)

  • doug holverson

    As the grandson of an Allis-Chalmers dealer and as an amateur machinist, I’m giggling at how much this analogy doesn’t work in real life.

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