Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Basic inalienable digital rights

I was reading a piece about the RIAA and their convoluted understanding of Steve Jobs open letter when I stumbled upon the term "Basic inallienable digitial rights".

There a question occured to me. Do I want to fund the society our children are going to live in, on the basis of the DMCA, patent law, copyright and a RIAA/MPAA mafia?

Every society traces it's funding back to documents laying out basic rights. Such documents as the declaration of independence and the bill of rights. Today we are in the midst of a fast changing civilization. In a mere 15 years the Internet and widespread computing hardware have started to influence and change our lives completely.

A new substrate, a basic building block for civilization as we know it is right now being invented. We find new ways to partake in culture, express ourselves, communicate, discover, share and consume. I have no doubt that the last 15 years of history have been as important as the invention of law, the written word and printing of books.

But who forges rights in our brave new society? we have copyright (which mostly serves a content industry these days), patent law, the DMCA and any other number of legal paraphernalia that usually accompanies enterprises, none of which are concerned with ensuring the rights of the digital citizens.

These are times of change and times of definition. We as a children of a digital age must come together and define the basic inalienable digital rights we want to live by. These rights are personal rights, and they will be as important to the founding of our future society as the declaration of independence has been.

We are in dire need to define ourselves before the rifts of opposing forces of our society become too great for it to mend. We're in dire need of basic inalienable digital rights. It is a great plunder of our time that we haven't gotten around to think about it sooner.

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