[ox-en] Digital reproducibility (was: Re: Gifts?)
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Sat, 18 Jan 2003 13:57:04 +0100
Hi Graham and list!
2 months (86 days) ago Graham Seaman wrote:
On Thu, 24 Oct 2002, Thomas Berker wrote:
So, Free Software (FS) is produced freely in a new way and distributed
freely in a new way. I guess the latter part is quite clear: GPL + digital
reproducability cancels bourgois proprietorship and Internet + digital
reproducability revolutionises global distribution.
OK, this should probably be a totally different thread,
I put it there :-) .
something I don't agree with. There's nothing magic about 'digital
reproducability'. The same things applied to cassette recorders in
relationship to radio, or VCRs in relation to television (the fact that
these are broadcast media makes far more difference than the
analogue/digital difference). Or photocopiers in relation to print.
Or copying a text by writing it down once more - to be complete.
No. Analog copies always had the problem of the loss of quality. Ever
copied a piece of music from a LP to a cassette to another cassette to
another cassette to another cassette to another cassette to another
cassette and listened to that? As P2P proves this is different with
Also analog copies had the problem that there was a lot of human
activity necessary to produce them. This is different with computers
copying digital information by several orders of magnitude.
I'd say instead 'gpl + cheap and widely available equipment for
repraduction'. Saying 'gpl + digital reprocability' hides the dependence
of FS on large-scale factory-based manufacture, plus makes 'digital'
seem something which it isn't.
I see no magic in "digital reproducibility".
However, it's an important technology which in the form of Internet
makes a lot of things possible which had not been possible in any
meaningful way before. However, the form of the Internet being a
universal network for the flow of information goods into every single
house is an important aspect not to be dropped when thinking Free
So to put it together:
* Digital reproducibility gives the ability to create lossless copies
from digital goods
In a sense this transfers the idea that information is not lost when
distributed to the "material" level.
* Computers made copies easy
No human activity is needed to do the copy on the computer. The
human merely controls what to be copied - if at all.
* The Internet brings these features to everyone
At least in principle it is possible the Internet is able to deliver
these features to everyone on this planet at any time.
I think the combination of these three features makes this technology
Mit Freien Grüßen