Reading the article “The End of Ownership” on Wired I began to wonder if the discussion on copyright is suffering from the same problems that we accuse the laws of: being out dated.
In the article Kyle Wiens states that “Welcome to the brave new world of copyright. If you want to truly own what you buy, you’ll have to fight for those rights — because they are disappearing”. It ocurred to me that this argument is as old as the laws it is turned against. It assumes that we want to own everything we buy. The market (and thereby consumers) is moving in another direction where you don’t own but buy access to goods or services.
I have a hard time convincing myself that I have to own a physical DVD or CD when I can stream the content I need anytime I want.
The article talks about tinkering with software from gadgets and things you buy. There is a few bad analogies in the article that clouds the debate, fx DRM in Renault car batteries – an issue that is unrelated to copyright but related to contract law.
The real argument most opponents of IP are promoting is that they do not want any rules at all. The argument may be wrapped in other political or economical arguments claiming barriers to growth and blocking innovation.
So to me the arguments used are as old as the law itself, and should be updated…just as the law is being.