That Terrible “Fake Sharing” Feeling

After posting the entry regarding GM’s move into Second Life (reLink), I found hits coming from a Techmeme link associated with Joi Ito’s post (Link) which was a response to something Lawrence Lessig has written (Link). I’m not sure why Techmeme associated those posts with mine other than that Ito’s post contained a mention of Second Life and I’ve exchanged comments with Cory Doctorow (reLink) on the topic of “sharing” which is what Lessig is discussing. Anyway, because Ito’s blog seems to be having issues, I thought I’d post the comment I posted there – a response to both his and Lessig’s entry – on here as well.

In my opinion we need to redefine or clarify the term “sharing”. It applies to real world items that can’t be replicated with the push of a button but also applies to the perfect replication of a digital product. The latter is, afaic, not “sharing” but producing. It is the inappropriateness of the language that seems to me to promote confusion regarding the issues surrounding intellectual property. It’s bad enough that the masses generally don’t know anything about IP law; this only makes it worse. Perhaps the real difference between “fake sharing” and “true sharing” is really just the difference between “sharing” and “producing”. If someone tells the mother of an teenage software pirate that her son is sharing it probably has less impact than if she’s told her son is manufacturing illegal product.

{Update: it appears Techmeme is having trouble figuring out where to stick a link to my Pontiac post since it’s been moved from Ito’s link and is now attached to another link that goes to a post about Crayon – Link. Funny. However, it appears Crayon is a new Second Life-focused marketing company and somehow that’s relevant to what I was discussing… I guess.}