[Foundation-l] Amicus Brief Filed in Golan v. Holder: Fighting for the Public Domain

geni geniice at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 14:46:18 UTC 2011

On 23 June 2011 08:47, Alec Conroy <alecmconroy at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Such works belong to our global knowledge.
>> You can't copyright knowledge. The usual term used there is culture.
> Clearly, you can copyright knowledge, for a time.  True, you can't
> copyright facts or scientific laws (yet)-- but some forms of knowledge
> absolutely get copyrighted, and they're lobbying for even greater
> powers over what people can read, write, and share.  In the past, for
> example, some entities have even claimed 'copyright' to try to limit
> distribution of knowledge of the specific 'special whole numbers--
> since those numbers were the ones they picked as "keys" when setting
> up their content encryption system.

Thats not copyright but a weird case of IP law that isn't very well
classified at the moment.

> To bring things full circle,  I think what we, collectively, are
> asserting is that culture is, in fact, a very essential type of
> educational knowledge.

Not within any useful definition of knowledge. Knowing how to build a
Dinosaur costume is knowledge. Barney & Friends is merely an
unfortunate application of that knowledge.

> There are two big myths I wish I could debunk:     One is "The Myth of
> Non-Educational Knowledge"--   all information is educational, but
> some sets of information are certainly more educational than others;
> it's a spectrum, not a dichotomy.
> The secomd myth is what I'd call 'The Myth of the Superiority of High
> Culture"--  basically the idea that operas and classical music are
> somehow a 'more important' culture to document than, say, anime or
> jazz.  In practice, 'high culture' usually means 'the culture of the
> most affluent'.  All culture,  whether scientific, encyclopedic,  high
> art, low art, pop culture,  kitsch, criminal, idiosyncratic, or even
> literally hunter-gather tribal culture-- all cultures are important to
> document so we can understand our fellow humans.

Science is not a culture it is a method.

Ultimately knowledge can be protected at all it is covered by patent
not copyright.


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