Re: Bruce Sterling's E-rights

On Sat, 18 Jan 1997, Paul Jones wrote:

> A little food for thought whilst reading Goldstein and Boyle and thinking
> about the goods model.
> P

Bruce Sterling wrote (among other things):
> Information *wants* to be free. 

Can anyone give me a coherent explanation of this common assertion?

Meanwhile, here's what James Gleick (author of _Chaos_, etc.) thinks about
it (courtesy of Edupage):

Author James Gleick says that the opponents of online copyright tend to be
people who have never tried to make a living from their writing.
[Before we start a flame war here, note that Sterling is _not_ opposed to
copyright, electronic or otherwise. -WJM]
"The writing of professors is subsidized.  The new millions of impromptu
Web publishers have a different mentality, too;  their work is rarely for
pay, and they are delighted if it is noticed and passed along."
Dismissing the slogan "Information wants to be free" as equivalent to the
sentences "I want information to be free ... and I want gasoline to be
free," Gleick says the best way to promote knowledge is to let people
profit from the intellectual products they create.  
(New York Times Magazine 4 Aug 96 p16)


   W. John MacMullen............................http://ils.unc.edu/~macmw