WorldChanging’s Jon Lebkowsky has raised what I consider to be an important issue in his post, “Freedome to Connect 2: Fat Pipe, Always On….!” (Link). Many of you have seen me go off on how blatant disregard for intellectual property rights can affect the independent voices disproportionately to the entrenched corporations. Well, here we have another potentially dangerous side-effect of the two diametrically-opposed camps waging war: the corporations influencing IP laws and distorting their intent, and “free everything” people who don’t seem to care or consider how their own actions can backfire. There needs to be a return to reason.
I’m not going to lecture. Instead I’m going to post a link to something I read this weekend over on the NPR website: “Groups Unite in Dislike of Freeloaders” (Link). It’s not about the internet; not about file sharing or Napster or any of that. It’s about how working together benefits everyone. Give it a read. Give your own actions some serious thought… beyond the “I want it now” mentality that seems to permeate not just users, but short-sighted shareholders of corporations who are on the other side of this destructive tug-of-war.
There’s a new catch phrase floating around: Attention Economy. Give your attention to supporting independent work and those who provide it. Because when people illegally pirate, in the end, they’re just strengthening the chains that shackle them. And everyone else.