August 4th, 2007


Good Copy, Bad Copy

The last few days have been exhausting, and expensive! Almost all the systems in my lab went down with some problem or other - be it related to RAM, hard disk or motherboard. Things came to a head when my good old server, `bhim', went down with a corrupted hard disk. I was forced to do a restructuring of the network - got new motherboards, memory,disk drives - installed Debian Etch on all machines. Things are somewhat `stable' now.

I have just now finished watching the documentary Good Copy, Bad Copy, a documentary about, as the web page says, the current state of copyright and culture. Watching a film like this helps to get the audience in a frame of mind where they can better appreciate the logic of Free Software. It's fascinating to see how the digital computer and the Internet are starting to give new dimensions to creativity and culture. How can a musician live without getting money from selling CD's? The documentary takes you to Brazil, and shows you how the Tecno Brega guys do it. Go watch it NOW!

The ability to copy information at zero cost, manipulate it in an infinite number of ways digitally and share it with a global audience of millions is revolutionary. Big recording companies, studios and software houses who have grown tremendously rich doing business the `old way' (as one person in the documentary says - `doing business in the rich countries, laying out a fence and calling everyone outside it a `pirate') feel threatened by this ability of the society to create its own culture (and its own software) - the society itself becomes the biggest competitor to these megacorps.Those who are intelligent enough to sense the emerging opportunites will survive by developing new business strategies which recognises (and builds upon) the power of sharing. Others, however big they might be, will soon become irrelevant.