Copyright is ‘Right to Copy’ : Wisdom of Collective Conciousness

That is not as foolish a statement as you might believe. Imagine a world in which all of the basic Raga’s of Indian music were copyrighted ? Most of our Indian film composer would be lost without them.
Where would the world be if Einstein’s equations or other scientific/medical knowledge were copyrighted. Where would Hinduism be if the Bhagvad Geeta was copyrighted. Or the Mahabharath. What if the Koran or the Bible were copyrighted ? Or Buddha’s teachings. What if all of Ayurveda and all of scientific discovery was copyrighted. The arguments against IP in life saving drugs for HIV have been well documented. The price demanded for such drugs is out of reach of those that are dying of HIV. Thank god for companies like CIPLA that refuse to bow down to international pressure and make the drugs available at affordable costs. Of course they are flouting international laws, but who’s laws ? Can there be a fundamental law against saving the lives of millions of people ?
Traditionally India has been a society that looked at Arts and all Knowledge as something meant to be shared with the human race. Really well argued in :
http://www.goodnewsindia.com/Pages/content/traditions/turmeric.html (thank u for the lead, Kavitha).
I also believe that all imagination is born out of a Collective Consciousness. Nothing is imagined or created out of singularity or in isolation. People’s consciousness moves to a particular need and creativity is provoked. An ecosystem of creativity is created. Why else did the 60’s and 70’s give rise to such incredible creativity in pop music ? Ideas are born out of existing ideas. Innovation comes out of provocation and need and borrowed ideas too. If we block that flow, all innovation and creativity wll cease.
However we accept that we live in a modern world and artists and researchers should no longer be doomed to a life of penury or poverty. There are not many Akbar’s around to support a Tansen. The argument for IP (Intellectual Property) are strong. The fundamental one being that IP protection is essential for innovation, both artistic and scientific. It costs billions to develop a new drug and millions to produce a film. And innovation would not happen if IP is not protected and financially valuable.
So the fundamental argument is not creative but financial and I can understand that. I make my living because what I create has financial value through some kind of value given to it’s IP and copyright. However I do believe that this is a chicken and egg situation. The more IP protection we give in to, the more expensive it becomes to create. Why should it cost 100’s of millions of dollars in Hollywood to make a film, or billions of dollars to create a new drug ? Because in world of Intellectual Property we are also creating and protecting hugely disproportionate returns to a a very few people who feed off this very protection.
However we need to find a balance, otherwise the very idea of Copyright and Intellectual Property will go against it’s very reason to be. Which is to provoke Creativity and Innovation.

12 Responses to “Copyright is ‘Right to Copy’ : Wisdom of Collective Conciousness”

  1. Akshay Bhat says:

    As far as creating new drugs is considered, the process is much more complicated than say making movies or painting, scientist go through literally millions of molecules to find few lead’s (1-2) which can stop a single protein involved in the disease. At which point most of the companies patent those molecules and at least 100 molecules which are similar to them, Now once they file a patent they have just 15 years till which they have control on the molecules. It might seem a lot but just animal testing takes 3-4 years, then you have clinical trials which take 5-6 years, and if your initial leads survives then you are left with just 5-6 years to reap the financial benifits of it. now out of 1000 of leads only 1 molecule ends up in your prescription. And the tagline in drug discovery is “Fail Early Fail Safe”

  2. Vijay Vegi says:

    Root cause of all this is MONEY. Barter system would solve this problem but would open a tree of new problems 🙂

  3. kavitha says:

    it seemed to me that the opensource.com write-up was really ‘well-argued’…

  4. We are were we are as a world. Where I would like to be heading is this: forget money. Everyone can explore and offer their talents, energy, and results of their work, just like the earth offers grass, forests and rivers, mothers offer babies, and trees offer their fruit. It is our need to have control, our fear of being in danger if we let go, which mess up the inherent equilibrium and harmony that are built into our very existence. Human beings have at some point invented the idea of separateness… which is becoming a block in our own evolution. Time to drop it.
    If everyone realized that we are safe and that the fulfillment of all our needs is built into the larger scheme of things, we would only concern ourselves with having creative fun. We would thank those who accept our gifts and their joy would be ours. And in our turn, we would enjoy the fruits of everyone else’s creativity.
    This is already happening with the younger generations. A whole subculture is arising based on free giving- music, films, computer programs… but also products and services. It seems that many young people today have a hard time forcing themselves to understand the “supreme rightness” of a world centered around fighting over what is “mine” and what is “yours”.
    This idea of assuming personal authorship over the creativity and resources of the universe is very infantile and leads to extremes like setting a price tag on earth, water, air or sunshine. It is as absurd to take personal credit or demand money for an idea, or actually for everything we do. If we knew that our actions are the actions of the universe, if we shared all this abundance in peace, if everyone was taking whatever they truly need while giving without holding back from the fullness of their heart … we would live in the natural paradise we belong to.
    The universe is actually already evolving out of an old, no longer functional paradigm. And the sooner we let go and adapt to the new, the faster the transition.

  5. kavitha says:

    Akshay, yes, I completely agree with you it is a highly time-consuming and expensive scientific process to discover and move a promising compound through the pharmaceutical value chain, and bring a safe/effective drug to market. But it does not alter a fundamental flaw in the way that whole industry operates and thats its ethical dimension. Whats the criteria to determine which diseases ought to be tackled for a cure, who should live, and should be left to die? Big pharma seldom create drugs for the diseases of the poor. To some degree the drug industry (in the rich world) has fallen into the abyss of its own IP trap.
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427332.800-poorer-countries-make-drugs-the-rich-world-wont.html
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18524821.800-curing-diseases-modern-medicine-has-left-behind.html?page=1
    And read on for a peek into the squeaky clean hospitals/health care systems of the rich world they are not necessarily intrinsically squeaky clean as they appear:
    http://www.naturalnews.com/028194_Scott_Reuben_research_fraud.html
    And we all thought scientific validations are foolproof gospels of reality and truth! How trustworthy are the US FDA stamps of approval anymore? First the food industry develops and markets food thats guaranteed to inflate obesity levels, and deflate healthy lifestyles in humankind. Then the drug industry spends billions researching and developing drugs to cure ensuing abnormalities in health (sometimes based on fraudulent research)! What a stupid world we inhabit, and what a remarkably stupid race we are!
    Isnt it time for a massive shift in consciousness at all levels – business, political, individual & collective?

  6. Freedom says:

    “if we shared all this abundance in peace, if everyone was taking whatever they truly need while giving without holding back from the fullness of their heart”
    Can anyone say COMMUNISM??

  7. Sir,
    Copyright Act Amendment and the proposed changes should include the Mass consumers specially in India by numbers.
    This issue has become more relevant with the invent of digital music platforms like Internet and the consumption Platform which is Cellular Phone.
    While the physical sales are dwindling and piracy growing vertically across all platforms and the logic of the consumer of easy and free availabilty of the digital music in particular has left all concerned in the chain as to how to gather more revenues.
    Assuming 500 million users and adding and assuming a few million of them creating their own music and selling across telecom operators how does the administration and the judiciary assure the author will and keep receiving his/her royalties all his life and to legal heirs thereafter.
    Why shouldn’t the music be free after it has made enough money and profits.. Aren’t the consumers paying for that and like you mention the residuals have actually added to the cost in the first place.
    Vinod Agarwal – what will the pirates do if everything is Free? What will the makers earn if their product wont sell?

  8. Kay says:

    Perhaps, thanks to Creative Commons, an effort is already underway. It is largely, for the creator to realise where the balance lies between need and greed.

  9. brahmastra says:

    There is no answer for such issues. The whole world runs on ownership and ego attachment. The detachment should be personal and internal without heed to externals. Tomorrow a beggar may come and ask you for all your money saying you have no right to it..will you give it to him?

  10. brahmastra says:

    To expound on the earlier post, even though many of us have a strong conviction that we are self-made, and deserving of the credit for our accomplishments, the facts are to the contrary. Our minds are a product of social conditioning, genetics and a variety of other aspects beyond our understanding. The individual is an illusion. How you behave tomorrow will be the result of the food you ate today, the people you talked to, the web sites you surfed and so on – fused with your past configuration.
    Not a single thing belongs to anyone, and you cannot take credit for even the smallest of accomplishments – good or bad.

  11. Onamography says:

    Several statements/phrases stand out:
    – ‘Traditionally India has been a society that looked at Arts and all Knowledge as something meant to be shared…’
    – ‘An ecosystem of creativity is created’
    – ‘…provoke Creativity and Innovation’
    This is where a new creative concept (Onamography) is walking Shekhar’s talk –> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Onamography/10150096011380611
    It’s probably one of the very few Indian exports (if not the only one) in the creative area of original puzzles.
    Without the support of many more fans (on Facebook), this innovative concept will fade away as the international heavyweights with stronger financial/marketing muscle will continue to steam-roll their way over such fledgling initiatives.
    Shekhar, some support needed here. Any ideas?

  12. Mee says:

    What a lovely point of view indeed Brahmastra

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