copyright and copy-radical-left

Seth Gordon sgordon at
Thu Mar 4 14:45:43 PST 1999

Doug Henwood wrote:

> Chuck Grimes wrote:
> >The way out of this quagmire is to destroy the copyright and patent
> >laws that form the legal foundation for this corporate exploitation.
> As someone who earns a living of sorts as a writer, I'm not too
> enthusiastic about junking copyright law. Is there any way to undermine
> Monsanto without undoing us humble scribblers?
> Doug

I'd be interested in seeing political-economy junkies' comments on the following papers:

Richard M. Stallman "The Right Way to Tax DAT"

J. Kelsey and B. Schneier "The Street Performer Protocol"

Both papers propose ways for creators to be compensated for their effort in a society where cheap duplication technology is widespread, and therefore traditional means of copyright enforcement are not effective.

Stallman's proposal dealt with music on digital audio tape. He suggested that the government tax blank tapes, let purchasers copy music onto them as they wish, and then distribute the tax proceedings among musicians. Each musician's share of the proceedings would be proportional to the number of people with his or her music on their tapes (this number would be determined by a periodic survey); the share computation would be weighted to dilute the reward of the most popular musicians.

Kelsey and Schneier proposed an escrow system. A writer could say, for example, "If $5,000 gets donated to escrow account #123 by June 1, then I'll post _Wall Street II: The Proletariat Strikes Back_ onto the Web." People could make their donations using "electronic cash" (cryptographers love electronic cash). If the total donations reach the threshold by the deadline, the writer would get the money; if not, every donor would get his or her money back.

-- perl -le"for(@w=(q[dm='r 0rJaa,u0cksthe';dc=967150;dz=~s/d/substrdm,\ (di+=dc%2?4:1)%=16,1ordi-2?'no':'Perl h'/e whiledc>>=1;printdz]))\ {s/d/chr(36)/eg;eval;}#In Windows type this all on 1 line w/o '\'s" == seth gordon == sgordon at == standard disclaimer == == documentation group, kenan systems corp., cambridge, ma ==

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