Bogus Terminology

Wed Aug 28th, 2002 01:03:47 AM EST

Diary Entry 108
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Am I the only one who is bothered by terms like "copyright industry" and "content industry"? It seems that these terms are coming into common use in Internet discussion forums and elsewhere. It seems that they refer primarily to RIAA and MPAA member companies.

These terms bother me because they seem to assume that there is a single group of companies that own all the copyrights and produce all of the content in the world. This is simply wrong: every person has copyright on his or her creative works from the time that they are put into fixed form[1] and every person can create content. I do both of these things through the articles and papers I write and the software I create. Chances are that you do, too.

Using these terms helps promote the myth that there is a sharp distinction between ordinary people and people who produce copyrights and content. In making their industries seem special, this myth bolsters the xxAAs' case that they should receive special treatment under the law for protection of their markets. I don't want to help them, and so I do not use these terms. I encourage you, too, to avoid these terms—and the companies that they refer to.

[1] In some specific cases, where law or contract holds otherwise, this is not true.

Last updated 03 Apr 2004 21:17. Copyright © 2004 Ben Pfaff.
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