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Old 20th July 2012
  #1816
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Jimmy Wales can be as obsessed with free information all he likes, as long as that doesn't impinge on my freedom to control my own information. And I'm guessing that's where the conflict lies, because his personal belief powers him to fight my point of view. I'm not fighting his rights, he's fighting mine.
One can maintain complete control over one's information so long as one keeps one's information private. Upon publication, however, one relinquishes that freedom: the work, from that point onward, belongs eternally to the public. Under our system of copyright law, the public grants back to the creator a temporary exclusive monopoly on the distribution of that work based on the economic theory that the creator may benefit from this distribution as an incentive to publish future works. We should all know this, of course; I make mention of these obvious truths only to give context to the discussion of what control a creator has over the content of their publishings: it is a public matter up for public debate, because the public owns all works ever published, and it is so that Jimmy Wales and anyone else has a right to advocate for however they believe these works should be treated.

An individual who disagrees with the public consensus on the treatment of these works, as embodied in the form of democratic law, is not entitled to therefore subvert it, but the laws themselves, if they are just, must always balance the dual competing public interests of allowance for the access of a work against the incentives which promote further creation and publication.

These are simply thoughts and facts on the subject, as raised, of controlling information; it is a tricky (but fascinating) topic, and is always worth contextualizing.