Czech translation of our most popular article, "The Promise of a Post-Copyright World".

IdeasBy far the most popular article on this site (over half a million views now and counting) is The Surprising History of Copyright and the Promise of a Post-Copyright World.  Courtesy of Antonín Houska, it is now available in Czech (česky): Překvapivá historie copyrightu a příslib světa po něm.

Thank you, Antonín!

It's also been translated into Chinese, Polish, Latvian, and Italian.  We're very grateful to all the translators; it's a lot of work for a piece of that length.  But the existence of these translations should also serve as a reminder of the vast amount of material in the world that would be translated if it weren't restricted by copyright monopolies -- a topic we've covered in depth before.

Happy New Year, everyone.  Let's try to have more freedom in 2016 than we did in 2015.


Copyright Is Brain Damage, Freedom of Speech Begins at Home: Nina Paley Speaks at TEDxMaastricht.

This 18-minute talk is by far the best explanation I've seen yet of why you should question copyright.

In the last few years, I've watched QCO Artist-in-Residence Nina Paley refine her message about the harm of copyright and permission culture. Now it's the most direct and most effective it's ever been. If you want just one video to show people to explain to them what this movement is about, let this be the one. Nina tells an appreciative audience why she had to set her mind free in order to make art, and shows some wonderful clips from her next film Seder-Masochism — a film that simply couldn't be made within the permission culture that Nina diagnoses so eloquently:


Elevating to the Public Domain

Airfoil lift.

We were talking with reader Noel Taylor about the "Happy Birthday" song case and he made an interesting suggestion:

Instead of say that a work has "fallen into" the public domain or "lapsed into" the public domain, why not say that the work has been "elevated to" the public domain?

Think about it: how did "fall" and "lapse" become our default verbs for talking about the removal of a work's monopoly restrictions?  If anything, it makes sense to say that the restrictions are falling away, like chains falling away, but the work itself is not falling anywhere.  It is unchained, and can now fly free.

So we're going to try saying "elevate to the public domain" from now on, and we hope you'll try it too.  See how much better it makes you and others feel about the work in question!

We've updated the Question Copyright glossary accordingly.



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