Mike Masnick explores the intersection of technology, innovation, policy, law, civil liberties, and economics, being the founder & editor of the popular Techdirt blog, as well as the founder of the Silicon Valley think tank, the Copia Institute.
He notably talks about Techdirt’s creation, how copyright puts up barriers to information flows and hinders economic growth, the concepts of abundance and scarcity in a digital world, and how copyright’s original intent got lost to the detriment of the public domain. Mike looks at how opportunities for new business models arose that helped create a ‘flywheel of support’ for creators, whilst observing that copyright made creators vulnerable to exploitation by big content. He looks back at the impact the SOPA/PIPA fight made, and the powerful Internet blackout linked to the protests against these Bills. Mike explains his thinking behind the ‘Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech’ essay he wrote for the Knight First Amendment Institute. He also briefly talks about the EU’s new digital rulebook. Finally, he reflects on the idea that the NFT space, once the hype, nonsense and craziness have moved away, could help stimulate the thinking about how to actually support artists in creative and clever ways that make sense for everybody and that align the incentives much better.
Do you prefer watching our passionate interviewees talking about the 21st-century walls blocking access to culture? Then check out the vlog below.
Video highlights with timestamps:
01:47 Techdirt’s creation: copyright putting up barriers to information flows
05:07 From Thomas Jefferson’s thinking to copyright hindering economic growth
11:10 Copyright’s original intent got lost to the detriment of the public domain
15:47 Abundance and scarcity in a digital world
19:55 Creating a ‘flywheel of support’ for creators: opportunities for new business models
24:14 Copyright made creators vulnerable to exploitation by big content
26:54 The SOPA/PIPA battle put the breaks on the ‘clockwork-like expansion’ of copyright law
32:33 How activism drove the Internet blackout in protest of SOPA/PIPA
37:02 The SOPA fight put the breaks on term extensions
40:55 The thinking behind the ‘Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech’ essay
49:27 The EU’s new digital rulebook: portability vs interoperability
52:30 Reflecting on the NFT space’s potential value for creators