The world is undergoing a quiet revolution. While the RIAA and MPAA are suing the pants off anyone who they can pin copyright infringement charges on, the world is slowly moving beyond the concept of copyright.
It all started with Richard Stallman. By starting the GNU movement, he rebelled against the concept of non-free software. In the process, he made people start questioning the very concept of copyright.
Inspired by the GNU licenses, Lawrence Lessig started the creative commons movement. This provided licenses that can be applied to any work to remove many of the restrictions that traditional copyright law protects.
There aren’t just idle theories. Content producers are buying into the concept of less restrictive copyright on their works.
Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails released albums online for free. Cory Doctorow releases his books online for free. Baen Books puts many of their books online for free. Michael Moore released his latest documentary movie online for free. Technobrega artists in Brazil give their music away for free in order promote themselves. MIT, Stanford, Berkeley and other universities are releasing their course ware online for free.
What is interesting to note is that content distributors are the people who are fighting the hardest for the future of copyright. It wasn’t The Artists vs. Napster, it was the RIAA vs. Napster.
This is because content distributors have been exploiting the artificial monopoly of copyright for all it’s worth. The services that these conglomerates used to provide (distribution, marketing, exposure) is being replaced by the Internet.
By using copyleft licenses, people are effectively opting out of the copyright system. They are choosing freedom. People want information to be free.