3 January 2012

Freedom of Information

I firmly believe that the path to a resource based global socio-economic system lies in the opening up of information. Absolute equality coupled with free information and advanced technology are the key to the success of the communist ideals that have failed many times in the past. It's one thing to design a sustainable system for future generations but it's a whole new game when trying to plot a path to get there. I've come up with what i believe is a plausible option for the transition from a capitalist, elitist system to a resource based economy.

Intellectual property or in layman's terms; the ability to own information, is a major hurdle for technological progression. If Newton had patented his work on motion and his family retained and renewed those patents over the years the Newton family would be the most powerful family on earth right now, but we'd still be riding bicycles and dreaming of flying. If you wanted to invent something that required the use of his equations you'd have to pay royalties to do so, even if you were able to reproduce those equations on your own. And the amount in royalties to be paid goes up according to how sought after the intellectual property is and i can assure you, the laws of motion are well sought after.

Here is my proposal to remove the hurdle of intellectual property; copyrights should last for a maximum of six years from the first point of publication. In other words you have six years of monopoly over an idea before others will be allowed to reproduce the idea. Once those six years elapse you have another six years before you are forced to release the schematics, source code, designs, scripts, etc. to the world. In other words every idea and all it's intricacies become public knowledge after twelve years and 'governments' only enforce the proprietary status of an idea for the first half of that period. Derivative works remain in the public domain and may not re-apply for a copyright or patent. Making an idea proprietary is obviously optional, you are free to open any idea at any stage.

Once open source has dominance, proprietary ideas will not be able to compete unless they are completely unique. If an idea is ruled to be a derivative of something that is already open then it will follow suit. Once all ideas are built on top of existing ideas and standards become well established; prioritisation will naturally dissolve until all information is completely free. And once technology is evolving at a massive rate (relatively speaking) outdated social structures such as capitalism, the monetary system and the legal system will also naturally fall into redundancy.

Please send me any feedback you may have on the ideas raised here and i will give due credit for your contribution. Criticism is simply collaboration from a proprietary point of view.