Information Wants to be Free. Really?
The good thing about globalisation is we now are connected to each other and it is becoming tremendously easy to disseminate information. The bad thing is the flows of information that globalisation has created are very difficult to control. In fact, it is impossible to control. One obvious example of the uncontrollable flows of information is: downloading. If you ask people, including me “Have you ever downloaded information for free?” I’m quite sure, most of them will answer yes. Even though, downloading information for free has become common in our culture, it is still a crime. Therefore, the government has created copyright law to prevent it.
According to Marshall McLuhan copyright is “the right to make copies” or in the broadest sense copyright laws constructed a system of property rights for tangible and intangible product such as musical works or also known as intellectual property. The purpose of copyright is to protect its creator’s work from piracy and it can potentially encourage creativity since the copyright gives them more incentive to produce new work. Copyright laws protect intellectual property but there are other works that copyright does not protect such as ideas, concept, styles, techniques and information. Moreover, downloading intellectual property for free might be legal in one country but illegal in other countries. Thus, brought us the notion “information wants to be free” and raising the tension between social pressure for freedom of information and the commercial interest behind copyright legislation.
I will put this into an illustration. Imagine A is an author of a book. First, A must put a lot of efforts and energy to pour his idea and develop it into a book, which requires a lot of time. After it’s done, A has to go to a publisher agency in order to get his book published. If the agency agrees to publish A’s book, they will give the book to the editor to determine the style and content of the book. After that, there is a production cost, cover cost, and campaign and publicity cost. However, if people want the book to be available online for free. How is A supposed to pay publish agency, editor, production and campaign team? Not to mention, lots of energy and effort in developing the idea of the book. In my opinion, information wants to be free, however the world is not ready.