The tectonic conflict between the defenders of intellectual property (and its defense mechanisms – copyright, DRMs, etc.) and the forces of free expression is generating news headlines almost daily (just scan our front page) and will shape our vision of knowledge into the next digital era. Every citizen should be aware of the issues and implications for daily life.
- Public libraries embody the American ideal that anybody can read, watch or listen to just about anything they want to. With publications and broadcasting delivered free by the Internet directly to homes, is the information revolution making libraries obsolete? As more people can access this content, the copyright owners — in many cases large corporate publishing entities — are looking for ways to charge fees. A growing chorus of lawyers, librarians, and educators fear the implications of losing free access to information for everyone. “Our information and communication infrastructure is so central to everything we do,” says former American Library Association president Nancy Kranich. “But what’s really underlying that is the free flow of ideas which is essential to democracy.”
Jim Griffin, president of the music company Cherry Lane Digital adds, “…Eleanor Roosevelt dreamed of a world of libraries where we could borrow any book we wanted to read, any movie we wanted to watch, any record we wanted to listen to..equalizing access to knowledge is one of the hallmarks of a civilized society.” … NOW with Bill Moyers takes a look into the digital future of intellectual property and the debate that has pit private control against the public domain.