IP is at the heart of creative works, such as books, movies, and radio plays. Intellectual Property belongs to those who created it; some of them sign contracts to hand their work over to companies and corporations, but most hold onto it for dear life. After all, it may be their only shot at immortality on this planet, and what creator doesn’t want to be remembered beyond their time?
Recently I touched on Baen Book’s excellent Baen Free Library, and Project Gutenberg. I think the artist’s view of things is important. After all, they are the ones who actually create the Intellectual Property that the companies with the overzealous legal departments and hyperactive bean counters are supposedly protecting.
So how do the artists feel about this? Well, surprise, lots of them are not getting a warm-fuzzy about how well they are protected, and almost none of them are seeing the results of these legal battles in their bank accounts. Here are a few links to give you an idea; you can find a lot more by a visit to your favorite search engine.
Orson Scott Card has been writing award-winning SciFi for a bunch of years now, with a twist: his stories are concerned with Ethics, and how the protagonist deals with them. Which makes his take on the issue even more incisive.
Janis Ian is a musician who has been on both sides of the issue; from her personal experience comes a unique perspective.
Lois McMaster Bujold writes scifi with heart, and I love her Miles Vorkosagen stories. Her comments on the Book Distribution industry might help put all this into a framework that makes sense. And on the best ways to use the new tools to help the future grow into what it should be.
Eric Flint, author of the 1632 paratime series (and a lot more), also has some thoughts on the best way to approach this question. This link represents the results of Eric’s conversations with Jim Baen, and their combined commitment to the future, and How To Do It Right.
If you have more links to add here, on either side of the issue, please send them my way!