Posted on November 14, 2008 in barlow, copyfight, IP by Brian RoweComments Off

I just came across a  good interview at with John Perry Barlow, one of the founders of the copyfight movement. Here are some of the highlights:

Reason: How would you assess the accomplishments of EFF so far?

Barlow: Every existing power relation is up for renewal with cyberspace, and it was only natural there would be an awful lot of fracas where cyberspace met the physical world. EFF has been the primary mediator on that border. We have been very successful at protecting against excessive government encroachment into the virtual world.

Copyright and intellectual property are the most important issues now. If you don’t have something that assures fair use, then you don’t have a free society. If all ideas have to be bought, then you have an intellectually regressive system that will assure you have a highly knowledgeable elite and an ignorant mass.

Reason: Is it your goal to annihilate intellectual property?

Barlow: Let me differentiate my own view from ex cathedra EFF. I personally think intellectual property is an oxymoron. Physical objects have a completely different natural economy than intellectual goods. It’s a tricky thing to try to own something that remains in your possession even after you give it to many others.

Barlow’s fiery rhetoric has been a strong inspiration for both my and Sarah’s activism in copyright and patent reform.

PS: If you have not read A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace take a minute to.