Seeds in the wind

Talking about intellectual property and copyright issues is talking about controversy. Controversy between those who understand art as seeds that must be scattered by the wind and those who understand art as an exclusive privilege just for those who can afford it. Controversy between genius and thieves of ideas. Between artists claiming for the money they deserve for their work, intermediaries who buy a new yacht every year and the public, who prefer not to pay for something when it can be obtained easily by free (illegally or not, that is another question…). No matter where you look at. There is controversy everywhere! Even in me.

A law which could comprehend all these controversies in a fair way seems to me really complicated. An impossible task, I dare say. Specially because we are talking about regulating a market of ideas, abstract concepts born in somebody’s mind. We are talking about padlocking an idea and spreading it at the same time. Difficult, isn’t it?

The intellectual property law was created “once upon a time” to protect the author’s rights, and I am sure it accomplished its aim properly… but maybe just when books were books, records were records, and 0 and 1 were just the numbers before 2 and 3. I am not so sure about the way it has been adapted to the new context of digitalization, where different media are hidden behind the same appearance: digital data. Data traveling at high speed through the internet, from mobile to mobile and so no, making impossible to control who is doing a legal use of the content and who not.

I am afraid this time it is not possible to appeal to society’s conscience, because we have already acquired the habit of owning without buying. What’s more, we have understood this illegal habit as a right! Like mice in a labyrinth, we found the easiest path towards the cheese, so it doesn’t matter how many obstacles the IP law could put in the middle, we will find it again.

Digitalization has changed everything, including the means of media distribution and the media business return on strategies. Our perception of the media has changed, making us to forget that behind all those megabytes is a real person working.

So maybe this time, continuous reforms in previous laws that have already shown its weakness, are not going to be enough. Maybe it is time to reconsider the intellectual property law from a new point of view. Because big changes require from innovative thoughts. And vice versa!

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