April 23, 2003
Read this interview with Siva Vaidhyanathan along with pages 22-26 of Fisher’s first chapter. While I don’t agree with everything Siva says, his general points are incredibly germane when considering compulsory licensing. For one thing, he talks about the rigidity of letting machines (DRM) define permissible uses of media. Second, he underlines what we could be taking advantage of in the digital era: the ability to “low[er] barrier of entry to creative processes” and spur “free and cheap access to cultural materials.”
Again, this comes back to the idea of finding an optimal solution. It’s the place Fisher starts from in that first chapter – ignore laws and markets for the moment, and think what this technology can do. We have to get back to practicalities at some point, but it’s important to recognize what new technology can do for us and then see where we stand.