[This post was unnecessarily inflammatory so I’ve re-edited it to be more productive, it was a bit of a flameout but there was actual thought behind it. I’ve answered rebuttals in this post as well so bear in mind that subsequent responses were made to very different text]
In this post on the cycle_dao blog I recently discussed the cultural dominance of this forum.
I am claiming that neither is there a universal morality that can be applied to IP, nor is there practical value to the affected parties that we might be protecting on the IC. Also that these forums are predisposed to certain perspectives that we know differ from much of the world and that we need to actively look to non-participants in these discussions to get an accurate view of the most representative path forward.
The Chinese market largely supports the counterfeit wine industry because Chinese consumers are not overly interested in whether the item they are buying is genuine or not. Chinese authorities are not highly interested in pursuing breaches of wine IP either. This article about the first prosecution in 10 years of a counterfeiter caught with 10,000 fake bottles resulting in an 18 month suspended sentence gives an indication of how minor the crime is considered.
The New Zealand horticulture sector is learning to accept its intellectual property will be appropriated by the Chinese sector because there is a growing practical understanding that IP has a shelf life. Regardless of law it decays and you have to develop a business model that is based on that reality. This is a pretty good article on the Kiwifruit industry that provides some background.
In the article, the point is made that the Kiwifruit itself was originally taken from China by New Zealand growers. Another example is much of the Australian and New Zealand wine industries were built on genetic IP taken illegally from Europe in exactly the same way as the Chinese/NZ horticulture example. [I can’t find a citation for this but it’s a mirthful in-joke in the Australian wine industry that “all the Viognier in Heathcote, Victoria was grown from cuttings taken from Chateau Grillet in France” and I bet new Zealand growers stole it from them in turn].
After 5 years the USA withdrew from the negotiation of the TPPA free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore & Vietnam. The remaining participants signed an agreement called the CPTPP one year later.
The agreement was negotiated behind closed doors, but this article suggests the reason it became possible to come to an agreement in the absence of the USA was likely IP terms that were then able to be removed from the agreement.
Patent law allows for different time horizons in different jurisdictions. In practical reality, IP can decay much more quickly than that. for example, in the Kiwifruit example above, New Zealand’s exclusivity advantage for developing a new kiwifruit decayed in China by 50% in 9 years.
In the case of Mario64, anyone with a computer can play it for free on the traditional web as pointed out by llbrunoll here. We might say that Nintendo’s exclusivity over Mario64 has decayed by 100%. The same can be said for every song, movie, image and TV episode streaming for free at any number of websites. Or any piece of software currently available for illegal download. What practical benefit is there to the IP rights holders to have these removed from the IC?
ililic’s point below with the big green map showing the whole world has IP legislation is solid. However, Hopefully, the above examples indicate that, at least on the ground in horticulture & Viniculture, these intellectual property rights are often ignored at industrial scale and this is tolerated by governing bodies. One might imagine that few of the countries who sign onto international property agreements actually intend to fully honour those terms. They do it to gain access to new markets and IP is treated differently in different industries under identical legislation.
The term used in this post before, a-legal, is pretty stupid. Neutrality is a better one. We should aim to be as neutral as the current internet. IP can be policed at higher levels. It cannot be managed at the protocol level.
*’’… in the first half of 2020, Twitter reported receiving 1.6 million takedown notices for copyright infringement.’’**
Algorithmic policing has been widely criticised as ruining YouTube and ignoring “fair use” so if we want our contribution to Web3 to be any better we have to do better than that.
Anecdotally, members of the Chinese community I’ve spoken to have been very upset as have been members of the European community and the Blockchain-native community.
The fact the foundation put the takedown proposal forward immediately was wrong:
A) This tacitly opinionates the Foundation in favour of US IP legislation.
B) An NNS proposal had at the time 24 hours voting time, while a DMCA request has 7 days to be honoured.
These forums are already an opinionated arena for discussion of IC governance. They are English language, as pointed out before, sequential in nature with debate subjects interposed with one another. It’s hard for a non-English speaker or person with lower reading & comprehension skills to participate or consume the discussion. These are also highly technical and populated largely by developers, primarily American. Given that the product of developers work is itself intellectual property there is an additional subject matter sympathy.
Take a member of the Chinese community, trying to participate in this debate. They are someone for whom English is at best a second language with a different script and they are attempting to absorb the nuances of a culturally alien subject that they are probably going to vote against. Then introduce ideas of a “Constitution” - a permanent set of laws supposed to govern a global system, or a “Moderation Committee” - a group composed of community representatives to care for the content on the IC. This is pretty intense conceptual depth to expect a global audience to engage with in this format.
The point here is not to say the forum cant serve a valuable purpose. Even a primary role in IC governance. Rather that we have to acknowledge that a large group of people are excluded from this discussion and we have to go to them and ask them what they think before we come to conclusions here. Consider this point in the context of the 24 hour wait for quiet period in the NNS proposal. The necessary consultation is impossible in such a time frame. (This has obviously since changed)
There are practical considerations that will be addressed in a cycle_dao post sometime in the next week. There is a lot of research that needs to be done in the interim. The most important consideration while we figure this out is to not be like me and post wild rhetoric on developer forums