I just read the most interesting ebook I read this year: Free Culture, by Lawrence Lessig.
It can be downloaded from “Amazon”: http://images.amazon.com/images/G/media/i3d/01/freeculture.pdf
I will just transcribe one of the more important (IMHO) paragraphs:
“There is a history of just such a property system that is well known in the Anglo-American tradition. It is called ‘feudalism.’ Under feudalism, not only was property held by a relatively small number of individuals and entities. And not only were the rights that ran with that property powerful and extensive. But the feudal system had a strong interest in assuring that property holders within that system not weaken feudalism by liberating people or property within their control to the free market. Feudalism depended upon maximum control and concentration. It fought any freedom that might interfere with that control.”
“As Peter Drahos and John Braithwaite relate, this is precisely the choice we are now making about intellectual property. We will have an information society. That much is certain. Our only choice now is whether that information society will be free or feudal. The trend is toward the feudal.”
I’ve never had it put that way! I’ve always felt that the government should let the market free, but interfere when something too bad happens. Now I extended that by adding that the government should, also, protect the market from turning itself into a disguised feudalism…
More at Free Culture website