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RE: <nettime> Dark Markets: Whose Democracy?
Ned Rossiter on Mon, 14 Oct 2002 13:45:48 +0200 (CEST)


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RE: <nettime> Dark Markets: Whose Democracy?


>
>This helps me articulate much of what I find troubling about Ned 
>Rossiter's concept of cultural IP: Once you define a culture so 
>rigidly as to set it into law, how does culture change?

Culture changes because it cannot be reduced to law.  Of course. 
Among other things, it consists of a complex dynamic between the 
production of meaning/s and regimes of practices embedded in 
sociotechnical settings and institutional realities.  Right, got the 
101 out the way...

IPRs, as my paper makes some effort to point out, cannot be 
considered in isolation, but need to be considered in relation to 
specific actors and their various needs and interests.  My examples 
consisted of developing states and indigenous peoples, for starters. 
As such, the discussion of IP in this instance would perhaps benefit 
by taking such factors into account.

>
>I suppose this is in general my major qualm with any sorts of 
>arguments that fall to hard on the side of power stemming from 
>cultural ownership --

Precisely!!  Power for exploitative TNCs, or economically and 
political marginalised peoples at the source of production?  Not such 
a hard choice is it?  Power is never going to go away...

>cultures change and shift, often creating new fascinating cultures 
>in the process.

As they always will.  Advanced economies are laden with IPRs - would 
you consider their cultures as static?  Probably not...

>I'm deeply in love with the effects of diaspora and miscegenation,

hmmm, I enjoy the diversity of consumption and the sensation of 
affect that comes with cultural intermingling as well...

>and I have a hard time with intellectual scheme that downplay such 
>dynamics because they're conceptually inconvenient.

My argument never states that  networks [dynamics] of "sharing" 
cannot continue in "informal" ways (see endnote 16) at translocal 
levels.  Or that culture becomes static.  My argument is based around 
the problematic of economic and political self-determination by those 
who need and want it.  IPRs, as far as I can understand (in very 
basic ways, I'll be right upfront about that) seem to offer that 
possibility.

  I'm still far from convinced by arguments put forth by 
cyber-libertarians/open source folks contesting this... in fact, they 
are not arguments, but assertions, wild claims and head-in-the-sand 
stances to complex issues and problems.  Lachlan just unpacked some 
the key hypocrisies and underpinning political economic forces 
shaping the c-l position.

I'd find it very helpful if anyone could point me in directions that:

1. suggest real, viable alternative economic models indigenous 
peoples and those in developing states might pursue

2. how this impacts upon the state and concepts of democracy formation

3. what sort of international/national courts pack the weight to 
pursue violations to indigenous IP (a point I remember Ted Byfield 
raising earlier in the year)

I don't think any of us on this list, to my knowledge, has tabled 
much about the complexities and diversity of TRIPS. Soenke has 
pointed to some of the alternatives being pursued within that 
framework, and indeed, to my knowledge, indigenous peoples are 
pursuing these alternatives at the level of interventions in 
international and national law and policy formation regarding 
proprietary ownership of cultural production and biological 
knowledge.   Nettime would become a different world if it opened its 
dialogues up  to these endeavours.  Otherwise it's just a ghetto of 
smug self-satisfaction (on these sorts of issues)...

Ned

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