“Commons” Hypocrisy

Intellectual consistency isn’t a strong point of the political Left. While mouthing empty platitudes about free enterprise, they want to regulate virtually every economic activity imaginable. So, it isn’t surprising to catch a Leftist in blatant hypocrisy. As a case in point, consider “commons” advocate David Brollier.

In an article based on his book, Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth, Brollier writes:

Unprecedented expansions of copyright law are starting to lock up “public knowledge” that has long been open and accessible to everyone. Under a 1998 law that extended the term of copyright law for another twenty years, tens of thousands of works from the 1920s that were due to enter the public domain—including Mickey Mouse, works by Robert Frost and Sherwood Anderson, the musical Show Boat and the novel The Great Gatsby—were kept in private hands. In the years to come, Americans will pay millions of dollars for cultural works that rightfully belong to them already.

While decrying the use of copyrights to “lock up” creative works, Brollier has no problem using copyrights to “lock up” his own work. Nor does he have any problem charging others to access that work. Apparently, others are supposed to give away their work, but Brollier expects to be compensated for his.

He goes on to write:

Unfortunately, the enclosure of public knowledge is a highly abstract and incremental process; it is not easy to observe and understand. But it deserves far more attention. At stake is nothing less than the free expression, capacity to innovate, and free flow of information that lies at the heart of our democratic culture.

Brollier conveniently ignores the fact that nobody stopped him from expressing his ideas. In addition, he has “enclosed” the products of his effort by using the very copyright laws that he denounces.

He praises Creative Commons as a means for individuals to place their work in the public domain, but doesn’t have the integrity to practice what he preaches. But that’s not surprising, because the credo for hypocrites throughout history is: “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Comments are closed.