You're right. Copyright is wrong.

DHAKA, Bangladesh

It is assumed that everyone who buys a cheap illegally-copied ("pirated") copy of music or software CD would actually buy

the costly 'official' version. Links have been made by piracy and terrorism, which are actually quite ludicrous. 'Intellectual property' is used as a term, instead of 'creative expression'. When something is called property, we are stealing, poaching and pirating. Instead of what we should be really see it as being -- sharing, creating and enhancing cultural products.
Lawyer Namita Malhotra is part of Bangalore's Alternative Law Forum. But, unlike most of her profession, this 'alternative'

lawyer is quick to question the many myths of 'copyrights' and 'intellectual property'.

Says she: "Copyright can be traced back to the print industry. Its earnings go more to the print company rather than the authors."

She points out how IPR, or intellectual property rights, are being described as a "valuable untapped resource". Or, that it is assumed that everyone who buys a cheap illegally-copied ("pirated") copy of music or software CD would actually buy

the costly 'official' version.

Links have been made by piracy and terrorism, which are actually quite ludicrous. 'Intellectual property' is used as a term, instead of 'creative expression'. In the world of law, she notes, this makes a huge difference. When something is called property, we are stealing, poaching and pirating. Instead of what we should be really see it as being -- sharing, creating and enhancing cultural products.

"Something creative grows by people adding and mixing to it," she reminds us. "Everyday life invents itself by poaching on

the property of others. New media practices are exploding aound the fact that a lot of people can share, remix and so on."

During a recent World Info City global meet in Bangalore, they had put up large billboards to debate issues related to so-called 'intellectual property' and copyright.

Naturally, her talk was followed by an animated, if sometimes heated, discussion.

No votes yet

Sign in to APC.org