How to talk about copyright?
In the copyright debate, it doesn't only matter what we say, but also how we do it. Language frames the discussion. Thus it is necessary to understand the words we use, their context, and the way they are used by others. It may happen that we win this or that battle in the copyright war, but if we allow the industry to shape the language we think in, the entire war will be lost.
Words are not neutral. They have meanings and connotations. They influence our perception of the world, they make ideas meaningful, they shape social practices and the law. It might even be said that words are more dangerous than arms. It's hard to disagree. For the last 100 years or so, the language of the copyright debate was shaped by the industry and hardly resisted. There was not much independent insight. Now, most of basic terminology introduced into copyright debate undermines the rights of the public and supports the interests of a small group of beneficiaries: words like "intellectual property", "piracy" or "legal access" rule the debate and influence its course. The current state of the law would be different, if we had been using terms like "intellectual monopoly", "infringement" and "users rights" in the past instead. Policy makers and industry lobbyists try to impose their language onto the minds of the people. And what we do? We surrender. Scholars and copyfighters seem careless in their choice of words. We intend to change that. We intend to make you think about the meaning of words and influence your speaking habits. You may disagree with some or all of our opinions. However, we will be more than happy if we make you think more critically, consciously and carefully while using copyright language. Enjoy!