We don't want a society ruled by corporations whose own interests supersede the public interest or sovereign governments.
Agreed. Neither do we want a society rule by individual people whose interests supersede...
Lots of people think certain kinds of speech should be prohibited because its "bad for society". Is that a valid argument against the right of free speech I don't think so.
There's a huge difference between ruling and having protected rights. I don't rule anybody, but I have rights protected by law. I think that's a good thing.
"That's the point of rights - a majority can't vote them away just because they're a majority."
They prevent a small minority of rulers from taking away the rights of the majority.
In democracies, the rights of majorities don't need protection (by definition).
On the contrary, rights protect minorities, and individuals, from being bullied by majorities.
I do agree the secrecy is a bad sign. On the other hand, as the comments here illustrate, it can be hard to introduce new protections for minorities in democracies. Nobody likes having power taken away, and that includes voters.
For example, this is much of the logic behind the EU - member states could free trade, allow labor movement, etc. without joining the EU. But it's politically impossible to do so because of protectionist instincts among voters. By joining the EU, member governments get to say "we have no choice, the EU made us do it."
Most corporations are not Walmart. My wife and I own a corporation - it employs 11 people including ourselves. The vast majority of corporations are like that. And anybody with $500 can form their own.
One can argue that the progress of civilization is a function of limiting the power of rulers.
Think of Magna Carta, the separation of powers under the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the UN Declaration of Human Rights. These all limit the power of rulers - that's what we admire about them.
And they "undermine democracy". That's the point of rights - a majority can't vote them away just because they're a majority.
Obviously the details matter tremendously. But is TPP and ISDS necessarily a bad thing? Or is it the next step in limiting the power of rulers to treat people (corporations are made of people) unfairly?
I don't know the answer, but I do wonder if we're jumping to conclusions.
By institutions do you mean institutions like Kickstarter and Patreon, or services like bandcamp and Youtube, which are already being built; or do you mean new forms of publishers, who take control of works for their own profits?
All of the above, and much more.
Personally, I like the idea of "patronage", where fans directly fund their favored artists. And subscription models. And automated donate-per-use models.
Let a thousand flowers bloom. Then let natural selection do its work.
For the record, I think it's fantastic that these images are now public domain. I just don't think they necessarily had to be. If any other company took pictures of its product testing---a car company, a shipyard, a machine shop---should they be obligated to release all of those pictures?
This seems to be the main point of contention and confusion.
I don't think anyone is saying they should be obligated to release any (let alone all) of those pictures.
But many people are saying that if they choose to release a picture, then it's unreasonable that - after releasing it to the public - they still have an absolute chattel property right over it.
Because information is not like physical goods - it can be copied costlessly without depriving the original owner of anything.
For my part, I don't understand what is so onerous about providing attribution to the source of a photograph you're planning to use. If I didn't or couldn't take the picture myself, it seems like the minimum courtesy to at least credit the person who did.
I mostly agree with you here - I think it is indeed a minimum courtesy to credit the source. But I think a strong social convention is enough. I don't think there should be a right to sue for damages over it.
It's a donation toward somebody's art project. If you get anything in exchange, that's a bonus.
Just like any donation, you need to look at who is running the project, and decide not only if the goal is worthwhile, but if the people doing it seem competent enough to complete the project.
The problem on Kickstarter is that many, many of the people running projects - although they have the best of intentions - just are in over their head. They don't know how to manage stuff, how to spend money and time wisely, etc.
There is a reason many of them have trouble getting funded by conventional means.
The great part about Kickstarter tho is that it provides a way to test the market for a new product without committing anything - if not enough people "donate" (in anticipation of getting the product), they just give the money back and drop it.
This works great when the people running the project have a track record that shows they know what they're doing.