Intellectual “property” – why words matter in the copyright debate

Torrent Freak:

One mistake that geeks and techies often make, but PR professionals and lobbyists never make, is the observation that words don’t just have a precise meaning – they also have a positive or negative chime to them. Therefore, lobbyists try very hard to establish a language where everything they want is described in words with a positive chime.

This is far more important than most techies realize. Language nuances, not objective descriptions, more often than not determine what becomes law and what doesn’t.

When you’re calling the copyright monopoly any kind of “property”, or using property-related words such as “own” or “have” in relation to this monopoly, you’re reinforcing that positivity around the concept.

I saw a comment on Reddit about my last article describing why “Intellectual Property” was a never-touch-never-use enemy’s term; the commenter just blankly stated that it was accurate and descriptive and thought that was it. No, it’s not, it’s absolutely not; the enemy would like you to think it is descriptive of the copyright monopoly, in a complete effort to misdirect and delude – for such misdirection would let them keep the privilege.

The copyright monopoly is an exclusive right.

More precisely, it is a governmentally-granted private monopoly that interferes with property rights.

It’s noteworthy that the copyright industry doesn’t even use the property moniker internally. If you listen to their lawyers, they all say “we hold the exclusive rights”. That is precise language, as opposed to “own” or “property”. The only people in the copyright industry who use the property moniker – everywhere and all the time – are, you guessed it, PR people and lobbyists.

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