The Lutsu manifesto

Most actors working for a free and open culture1 use the current copyright system as a legal form for publishing free open content. They assume that the current copyright system is basically okay. Their work is important because it shows the feasibility of alternative systems. But it is time to go further. The Lutsu manifesto states that the current copyright system is basically not okay and needs a fundamental update.

The manifesto text

We, the signers of this manifesto, declare that we want a world where published content is no longer considered a private property for which the “owner” has a “right” to decide how it may be used or not. Any published content should always and for everyone be free to use, study, share and extend.

By published content we refer to publications formulated as text, picture, sound, movie, software source code or any other media. It covers publications of any investment type, ranging from spontaneous postings in an Internet forum to books, songs, movies, scientific reports or patents.

The idea of considering published content as private property has good historic reasons, but in the digital era it shows serious design flaws. We need to stop wasting our resources into the maintenance of an obsolete legal infrastructure.

The laws currently called “copyright” mix up two aspects that we should learn to differentiate. The author’s rights to recognition is very different from the ownership right. It is difficult to start a dialogue as long as the two concepts are melted together in a same word.

The right to recognition is the right to get protected, honoured, identified and acknowledged as the creator of my work. This right should become more important and get more attention. For example, authors should get protected in more efficient ways against malicious or distorting quotation of their publications, abuse of their reputation for other purposes, plagiarism and disinformation. We need international standards and infrastructure to manage changes, version control, feedback, contributing and derivative work of all published content.

The ownership right is the right to control how others may use my work. This right should no longer be maintained and finally get withdrawn. Publishing content should no longer give you a right to control how others may use your work.

We are aware that the transition won’t be easy. There are many challenges. Governments must review their laws. Existing copyright holders must review their established methods of generating income. These changes will cause a revolution in the way of how content providers are being rewarded. Already now we know several alternative ways to reward authors and publishers. See Alternatives to copyright.

We believe despite these challenges that a transition is possible and will have enormous benefits.

We refuse criminal acts against existing laws. We don’t call to ignore laws, we want to change them. We call on our governments to start moving in the right direction.

Remarks

Above text is my draft of a “manifesto” text that I would suggest for a world-wide campaign.

The name is because I wrote and presented this idea for the first time in Lutsu talu, in July 2018. A bit later I started a petition on wemove.eu about this.

The petition got 6 signatures. So obviously something is wrong with my idea. I am probably not the right person to turn this idea into a serious project.

If you understand what’s wrong, thanks for trying to explain it to me. Or feel free to use it and make it grow, remove what’s wrong and add what’s missing… either on your own or together with me.

Footnotes

1

For example Creative Commons, the Wikipedia Foundation or the Open Knowledge Foundation.