Community creates value

Cory Doctorow comments on Games Workshop’s latest legal initiative against its fans, I chose some quotes from the article, including the allegation that they behave like sociopaths and created their IP in exactly the way they’re pursuing others for. I conclude with, the probably not original statement, “Open source campaigners have always argued that community creates value, here’s another battleground where it will be tested.”.

“‘IP’ is any law that lets me control the conduct of my customers, competitors and critics, such that they must arrange their affairs to my benefit.”

Now, copyright and trademark’s framers were alive to the possibility that they might become this kind of weapon, and they wrote limitations and exceptions into each doctrine that were meant to safeguard the public’s right to free speech and free action.

But those limitations and exceptions are weirdly self-eviscerating. Both trademark and copyright’s limitations assume that they aren’t being weaponized by immoral sociopaths. Both collapse if they are.

The fourth factor (of fair use) looks like an escape valve for uses that harm no one.

But it actually rewards to bullies who intimidate others out of money they don’t actually owe — until they do.

Cory Doctrow, Games Workshop declares war on its customers (again)

The fourth factor is market impact, and the precedent of others, becomes a precedent to the courts which is why he says “until they do”. He lists the monetisation of ‘samples’ and the attempts to licence five word quotes by the press as examples of an undesirable enclosure achieved through persistence.

He writes specifically on Trademarks,

If you buy a can of Coke, you want the true Black Water of American Imperialism, not an inferior brand of dilute battery-acid.

Cory Doctrow, Games Workshop declares war on its customers (again)

And concludes,

Culture is in tension with the control of ideas, because culture is the spread of ideas.

Creators (and execs) are vulnerable to the pirate/admiral fallacy: “When I take from my forebears, that’s legitimate artistic progress. When my successors do it to me, it’s theft.”

The sin isn’t in the taking, it’s in the pretense that it never happened, and the vicious grifting that punishes anyone who does unto GW as they did unto everyone else.

Cory Doctrow, Games Workshop declares war on its customers (again)

I finished my shorter examination which was focused on the rebooting of Warhammer Fantasy, with the statement,

Open source campaigners have always argued that community creates value, here’s another battleground where it will be tested.

Dave Levy, but it’s been said before by many others

Originally published at https://davelevy.info on August 1, 2021.

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Brit, Londoner, innovator, economist, Labour, privacy, cybersecurity, traveller, father, - mainly writing about UK politics, https://linktr.ee/davelevy

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Dave Levy

Dave Levy

Brit, Londoner, innovator, economist, Labour, privacy, cybersecurity, traveller, father, - mainly writing about UK politics, https://linktr.ee/davelevy

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