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Published content can’t be private property

Monday, November 22, 2021 (03:51)

When you do the work of explaining something in public, then you deserve a salary for your work. Your work can be a poem, an article, a book, a picture, a movie, a song, a scientific report, just to mention the major types. I am speaking about intellectual work. Intellectual work is stored on a medium. Before the digital era this medium was paper, cellulose and magnetic tape.

Who should pay for your work? Before 1710 (see History of copyright) there was a simple answer to this: the one who wants you to do it. There were “patrons” and “creators”. The “patron” was some rich person who had money and wanted to “say” something. The “creator” was a person trained in some art of “saying” things.

Both patron and creator were humans. Some humans love to govern people, others love to buy things and sell them again, others again love to invent new melodies or to draw a picture. Each human has their particular set of gifts.

Have you ever seen the Monna Lisa painting? Some say that the Monna Lisa is the best known and the most visited work of art in the world. I haven’t seen it. I just have seen copies of it, and feel no serious need to see the original.