Industries that survive and thrive without copyright protection

I met Johanna Blakeley in LA a while back and when we heard about her project about sharing in the fashion industry, Ready to share, we invited her to talk at the iCommons Summit in Sapporo, Japan in 2008. She rocked it then but her latest TED talk is even better. She talks about how the lack of copyright protection has enabled the fashion, food, and automobile industry to thrive, forcing them to innovate in order to become more unique, less able for others to copy.

3 thoughts on “Industries that survive and thrive without copyright protection

  1. There’s free, then there’s freemium, then there’s just teasing. It’s a funny world. I always love the pendulum analogy. Pendulum has gone all the way to the one side – money money money. No touch. No feel. No warm hug – just dollar hunting.

    Some normalisation is needed, so you’re seeing these new approaches to content and creativity. They’re shaping new thinking and enabling new business models. But soon enough, pendulum would have swung all the way to the other end of the continuum and too much will be free. Content will become commoditised – cheapened and increasingly worthless. Because why spend time creating content when someone else is already producing the same thing.

    And then we’ll normalise again.

    Funny world 🙂


  2. Thanks for the comment, Andy! I am obviously a lot more cynical than you, but I would be very surprised when users gain enough power for the pendulum to swing the ‘other way’. The great thing about Johanna’s talk is that it’s about people who are still making money – lots of money – when copies aren’t protected. This is not about free products – it’s about free copies. The solution for the publishing industry would, granted, be different since it relies on words and images rather than physical products, but I think there’s a lot to be learned from industries that are built on the realisation that they need to find alternative means for creating a market (rather than just trying to stop innovative technology using government-mandated and outdated copyright laws).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s