Archive for February, 2008

Information Should Be Free

Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Information should be free.

Movies, books, magazines, software, news items, music, pictures… should all be made free and accessible to everyone in the world. With the exception of personal info (like our PIN numbers) and high-risk information (like a recipe for the Anthrax virus), anything that can be digitized and distributed via the net should be.

Now, you (or someone you know) might read this and say “but then how will the creators of said information be compensated?” The short answer is… they won’t. Not directly anyway.

But look at it this way… If information was free, you could have all of humanity’s knowledge at your fingertips, and all it would cost you is that you make free whatever information you create/discover in your life.

Wouldn’t you be better off with such a wealth of knowledge? Wouldn’t we all be better off? As one of the millions of Google users, I know that I’ve been enjoying the virtual omnipotence that it can provide.

Instead of progress being stifled by individuals (and corporations) hoarding information and protecting their intellectual property, we could share our information freely and expand our knowledge base at an accelerated pace. We need to abandon the paradigm of “us vs. the world”, because it is only holding us back from our true potential.

We are at a cross-roads where we will decide, as a species, if we want our information to be free, or if we want to let our information be controlled and regulated to protect the selfish interests of those who want to hoard everything for themselves.