Found this great post pointing to a white paper discussing the parallels between Marxist ideology and the copyright movement.

That’s right folks, the Red Scare is still frightening your neighbors. Some people believe that the recent push for copyright reform (think Induce Act) is actually an attempt to preserve democracy, since it will maintain a “healthy urge” to create works of art or other works of public importance. I mean, why would Stevie Wonder continue to sing if he can’t make doe? Or why would big-pharma support R&D for cancer treatment if there’s no pay out? Makes sense right?

Well, because of this argument it seems many people who support ideas of an open/commons market (e.g. creative commons) are being labeled as communists. Supposedly because communists offer the rejection of private property-ownership which is being equated to the rejection of private intellectual-property-ownership. In other words, if you re-interpret that image and try to make it your own, or if you sample that sound and try to incorporate it into your own, and you see nothing wrong with that, than you’re basically a Bolshevik getting ready to loot the house that Capitalism built.

This paper does a great job at flipping the coin and showing you the face of reason. It states that in the same way it may appear that intellectual-property theft can stifle creativity, an unrestrained free market capitalism can “consume itself” as it’s private property systems fervently attempt to increase their empires. Copyright owners and their beneficiaries (e.g. RIAA, MPAAJ) will always push their “property-maximizing” agendas, thereby suffocating the artist and drowning the free-thinker.

So, the way I see it right now, at 12:16am in nyc, as I listen to Tragedy’s, I mean, Capone and Noreaga’s debut album (for real though, Traj is all over the war repot), this paper does a great job of providing a balanced look at both arguments. And the thought of not having this or other good albums available to me because of sample-clearance issues persuades me to believe the ideas presented in this paper and argued by many lawyers and progressive thinkers are especially important to hiphop artists and their descendants who would not have had the freedom to introduce and develop their work if James Brown’s publisher/administrator did a better job at catching “their” breaks being used on other peoples records (can you say run-on?). So I say if you like and/or respect hiphop then you should recognize the importance of keeping certain people and interests in check.