Posted on February 15, 2008 in by Brian RoweView Comments

Mission Statement

Freedom for IP is a grass roots organization dedicated to exploring the interaction of Intellectual Property Legislation with Human Rights. Freedom for IP is committed to providing resources, references and news about issues related to Intellectual Property and Human Rights. Freedom for IP is actively engaged in researching and discussing ideas on how to balance conflicting interest of IP and Human rights in an information age.

Freedom for Intellectual Prosperity

The term commonly used to refer to the control of ideas is intellectual property. Intellectual property is a concept developed in England in the 18th Century. It was legislated with the Statute of Anne, bestowing upon people a right that had never existed before. This was the right to register an idea and sue anyone who used that idea to make money. So began our litigeous age.

This concept of litigation as a right to protect ideas from being used has blossomed since the Statute of Anne. The only people with a legal interest in copyright law until recently were copyright holders, and they have pushed legislators to expand their rights to be essentially limitless. Every idea created today is immediately protected from use, commercial or non-commercial, for at least 70 years until the creator goes through the legal process, as this website has done, to give that idea to the public domain.

The important thing to understand here is that this right does not grant ownership to copyright holders. Holding a copyright on an idea does not mean that you own that idea, and does not allow you to pass it down to endless future generations. Giving up a copyright does not mean that you will not be able to use your idea, it does not mean that someone else will be able to copyright it. Ideas are not property. I’ll say this again because it’s important. Ideas are not property. Intellectual property is an optional limited monopoly, it is not in any sense property.

You can opt out of copyright, it is optional, and we implore you to consider what you are not contributing to the public domain. Are you planning to litigate on it? Would you sue someone for copying it and attributing you? Would you sue someone for using it to promote a nonprofit organization? There are many rights automatically reserved for you, including commercial use, non-commercial use, attribution, and sampling. You have the power to give some or all of these rights to the public.

The time before the Statute of Anne was a time of intellectual prosperity, where artists and innovators could build on the works of others without fear of litigation. We are here to restore that freedom. Protect public domain, contribute to it. Freedom for intellectual prosperity!