Learning From Aaron Swartz: Content Must Not Be The End Game For Knowledge

from the serious-stuff dept

In the wake of the suicide of Aaron Swartz, there have been many fine tributes to the man and his work. Another growing class of posts that have flowed from this unhappy event are people reflecting on the important lessons he taught them. Here, for instance, is Jeff Jarvis recounting his journey from a fairly traditional position on copyright to one that recognized how the Internet had reshaped that landscape.

Ten years ago, Jarvis appended this "mock copyright notice" to his blog posts:

It's mine, I tell you, mine! All mine! You can't have it because it's mine! You can read it (please); you can quote it (thanks); but I still own it because its mine! I own it and you don't. Nya-nya-nya. So there. COPYRIGHT ... by Jeff Jarvis.
But gradually, under the influence of key thinkers in this area, he came to see things differently:
Lessig and company have taught me that content's value can lie in what it spawns and inspires. Locked away, unseen, unused, not discussed, not linked, it might as well not exist.

...

And Aaron Swartz has taught me that content must not be the end game for knowledge. Why does knowledge become an article in a journal -- or that which fills a book or a publication -- except for people to use it? And only when they use it does content become the tool it should be. Not using knowledge is an offense to it. If it cannot fly free beyond the confines of content, knowledge cannot reach its full value through collaboration, correction, inspiration, and use.
The tension between knowledge and content is no mere abstraction. As well as lying behind some of the most problematic sections of SOPA, ACTA and TPP, and the larger war on digital sharing they are part of, it was almost certainly a contributory factor in the death of Aaron Swartz too.

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(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 17th, 2013 @ 3:58am

    Why does knowledge become an article in a journal -- or that which fills a book or a publication -- except for people to use it? And only when they use it does content become the tool it should be.

    Now that's freaking insightful. Whatever is made of copyright it should be mandatory to MAKE THE CONTENT EASILY AND WIDELY available in order to retain the copyrights.

    Yeah, this should save movies, music and whatever from gathering dust, rust and rotting in some basement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Aleandnuts, Jan 17th, 2013 @ 6:18am

    While Donald think copyright is a good thing.

    Youtube: DONALD DUCK GETS A BLOW JOB

    Others question if he has any idea of what is happening.

    Youtube: Donald where's your trousers

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Gregg, Jan 17th, 2013 @ 6:18am

    petition

    sign it. Everyone needs to fight back on this event. This is exactly how the Nazi's started. Bullying.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/remove-united-states-district-attorney-carmen -ortiz-office-overreach-case-aaron-swartz/RQNrG1Ck

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    erichwwk (profile), Jan 17th, 2013 @ 6:19am

    Stiglitz on knowledge and IPR

    “It is more efficient to distribute knowledge freely to all rather than to restrict its use by restricting its use by charging for it” -- Joseph Stiglitz from

    ECONOMIC FOUNDATIONS OF
    INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS



    http://bit.ly/XBzc6A

    as Larry Lessing states.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    erichwwk, Jan 17th, 2013 @ 6:35am

    Who was stealing from whom?

    "‎"The law locks up the man or woman who steals the goose from the commons, but lets the greater villain loose that steals the commons from the goose"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7jaSjkd0jM

    also try Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daley on most wealth (esp knowledge) as common property

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/283236-1

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    dennis deems (profile), Jan 17th, 2013 @ 6:42am

    Not using knowledge is an offense to it
    A powerful phrase worthy of supplanting the motto of every university in the world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    erichwwk (profile), Jan 17th, 2013 @ 6:43am

    Re: petition

    Yes, but also need to include Stephen Heymann

    http://huff.to/W58XV1

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 17th, 2013 @ 7:54am

    Knowledge isn't a book. It's only knowledge if it goes into people's heads.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 17th, 2013 @ 8:54am

    Can someone here define knowledge for me? Because a lot of what's being said just doesn't make any sense.

    Knowledge ≠ Information

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 17th, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Re:

    Mandatory Zappa lyric:

    "Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST."

    But seriously, knowledge is information understood. All knowledge consists of information in a context, but not all information is knowledge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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