The Lutsu manifesto

The name is because I wrote and presented this idea for the first time in Lutsu talu, in 2018.

Most supporters of free digital culture (Creative Commons, Wikipedia Foundation or Open Knowledge Foundation) say that the current copyright system is basically okay, and that we can use it as a legal form for producing free open content. The Lutsu manifesto goes further. It states that we need a more fundamental change. We need to review copyright laws. We need to stop investing our resources into a legal infrastructure that has become counter-productive and is being abused by greedy giants.

So here is my draft of a “manifesto” text that I would suggest for a world-wide campaign. But I am probably not the guy who is going to turn this idea into a serious project. Nobody ever has expressed motivation to actively join my efforts. Probably because I didn’t actually ask anybody. If you like the idea, feel free to use it and make it grow.

Manifesto

We, the signers of this manifesto, declare that we want a world where published content may be used and shared by everyone. Published content should no longer be considered a “private property” for which the “owner” has a “right” to decide how it may be used or not. This includes publications formulated as text, picture, sound, movie or source code, and ranging from simple postings in an Internet forum to books, songs, movies, scientific reports, patents.

The laws currently called “copyright” are about two very different rights. Some copyright laws protect the author’s right to get honoured, identified and acknowledged as the creator of their work. We want our governments to maintain and extend these laws. But some other copyright laws give the author a right to control how others use their work. We want our governments to abolish these laws.

We want a fundamental change in the way of how producers of digital content are being rewarded. Publishing content should be considered an act of public interest and rewarded as such. There are several alternative ways to reward authors and publishers. For example they might be rewarded by a public commons tax which should be distributed using a transparent and democratic system under public control. See Alternatives to copyright.

We are aware that the transition won’t be easy because the change is fundamental. For example existing copyright holders must review their established methods of generating income, governments must review their laws,…

We believe despite these challenges that a transition is possible and necessary. We believe that this change is necessary because the copyright system has fundamental design flaws.

We do not call for criminal acts against existing laws. We don’t want to ignore laws, we want to change them. We call our governments to fundamentally change some of these laws. We want our governments to realize that the idea of considering published content as a private property has become obsolete and counter-productive in the digital era.

By signing this manifesto we declare that we do our best to realize the principal necessity of this fundamental change and to carefully develop transition plans. Signing this manifesto does not make the signer co-responsible for other signers of this manifesto.