Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?
Robert Browning, Men and Women
I am re-listening to the smashing presentation Stephen Fry gave at the iTunes Festival 2009. It has certainly succeeded in getting me to look at intellectual property rights in a light anew. If only this talk came earlier and was available to my IP law class many years ago… The legal concept of property rights is so defined and rigid that unfortunately does not always fit comfortably within the realm of creative world. Will the day ever come when everything one posts on the Internet be followed by a copyright disclaimer? I sincerely hope not.
I am a regular visitor to various creative and DIY blogs. Most of these sites I frequent are generous in terms of sharing their creations in terms of downloadable templates and project instructions. I noticed a common disclaimer on these downloads permitting only private, not-for-profit use. Understandable. No one should every profit from the fruit of another man’s labour. But then it got me thinking again. Is it not an unfortunate state of affairs that creative artists who are willing to share their work over the Internet have the need to preempt their work from being commercially used for another’s gain?