Archive for the ‘copyright’ Category

A decade ago

March 27, 2006


“We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or
prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station
of birth. We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express
his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being
coerced into silence or conformity. Your legal concepts of property,
expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They
are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.[…]

Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate
themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to
own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas
to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our
world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and
distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no
longer requires your factories to accomplish.”

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, John Perry Barlow

You could think this text was written recently by a citizen media enthusiast like Dan Gilmour (although this is definitely far from Dan's writing style) or one of the good guys on But, in fact, it was written a decade ago, on February 1996. It's
interesting to think of how much of what we thought then became true
(or is on its way), and still how much we don't know about where this
is leading us. A must read, even though 10 years later.