I do not normally frequent Slashdot
, but this
managed to capture my imagination. Given the chance, clearance, and choice, which items currently under copyright could be liberated for the benefit of all? The possibilities are vast - just look at the number of comments that follow the post - but some programs seem better than others.
One sad fact is that some of the most important pieces of intellectual property would be hard-pressed to end up free for all. It is hard to imagine James Joyce's estate giving up its lucrative stake in Finnegan's Wake
. If the possibilities were limitless, I'd probably go the most philanthropic route and find the items of most widespread importance. This would include films like Citizen Kane
, the likenesses of Picasso's cubist paintings, substantial academic texts, and seminal recordings (essential capturings of symphonies and albums of iconic stature like Miles Davis' Kind of Blue).
But since these things are bonafide money-makers, they would probably end up costing considerably more than the $100 million endowment.
Perhaps most practical would be effcient schematics that could be freely distributed to the Third World. I'd still like to find a way to free some cultural objects.
In the end, I would probably just purchase the rights to a bunch of books that I like (Herbert Marcuse's Eros and Civilization
, Philip K. Dick's Man in the High Castle
, etc) and make them free.