[cc-community] Brainchild

Greg London email at greglondon.com
Thu Apr 21 15:44:34 EDT 2005

Evan Prodromou said:
>I like it because it changes the relationship between creator and work
>from one of ownership to one of parenthood. The control of an owner
>for her property is perpetual, but the control of a parent over his
>child is temporary. Eventually, a child grows up and goes out on its

The metaphor of "ownership" is probably the biggest obstacle
to fair IP law. From that frame of mind, you can argue for
perpetual copyright terms.

I take Section 8 of the US Constitution
to be a Bounty offered for writers and authors.
Wanted: Progress in science and useful arts
Reward: Exclusive rights for a limited time to your work

Writers and Inventors are bounty hunters of
undiscovered intellectual works.

And bounties are set to be just high enough to bring
the bad guy in, they're not meant to put the bounty
hunter and their offspring on the gravy train for
all eternity.

If you look at it from a bounty hunter perspective,
then "fair" suddenly becomes much different than from
the "ownership" perspective. A "fair" bounty is
as low as possible but just high enough to get the
job done. If authors would write when copyright terms
are only 40 years, then it makes no sense to make
the bounty higher. If someone will bring in
Bad Bart for 10,000 dollars, then it makes no sense
for the town to offer 50,000.

It also breaks the idea of "ownership" and changes
it to one of "service". Bounty hunters provide a
service of bringing in the bad guys or discovering
new works. They are paid for their service, their
labor, they don't get permanent monopoly on their

A bounty hunter doesn't keep bad bart locked up
in perpetutity, collecting a bounty every year.
They get a lump sum to compensate them for the
the risk they took in catching the bad guy.

Bounty Hunters: Metaphors for Fair IP Law.

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