Fundamentally, though, the views I have criticised here are not merely stupidity. They constitute an ideology, a worldview, like flat earth-ism. But the world is not flat and the stupidity pact is not what we want to sign.
Let me be clear. IP is a good thing. […] Not all proposals to extend rights are silly, but if we do not start looking rigorously at evidence, we will never know which.
That’s what makes this such an interesting time in IP. The power of ideology (which I would define as a simplified explanation of how the world works) is that it generally does work — that’s why it becomes accepted. Developing a good model gives one advantages — the ability to anticipate outcomes and act with confidence upon that expected outcome. However, that success also leads the user to confuse the model of reality with reality itself and, eventually, the ideology disappears — “Why is more copyright protection better? That’s just how things work, stupid.”
As long as the model works, that confusion is not a problem. But when the model starts to fail (as it inevitably must), the dogmatic ideologue is in serious trouble — the explanations for how the world works sudden no longer work, and the easiest response (and most typical) is to argue away (or ignore) the inconsistencies and press on.
That’s where we are now. The inconsistencies cited in Boyle’s article and elsewhere are all around us, but the ideologues just keep repeating their mantra “more control/property/market discipline is better.” The ideology is now visible, at least to those who do not accept it, and the inconsistencies keep piling up — and the non-dogmatists have started to develop a better, more refined model for reality, one that allows them to be more successful, and have started to move on.
The danger lies in spasms of the ideologues whose explanations no longer help, but who still have the power to construct structures that enforce their world-view. Setting up those structures won’t save their ideology; rather, it just guarantees that we’ll all fail together, while those who elect to move on to the next ideology will become increasingly successful.
And that’s what the fight is about. Flat-earthers are harmless — until they start forcing you to write the specifications for your GPS system in accordance with their views. Then, you’re screwed. Because you might manage to come up with something that (sort of) works, but eventually someone smart is going to say “I can do this a lot better if I reject the assumption the earth is flat,” and he’s going to clean your clock.
See Donna’s thoughts: Help Break the IP Stupidity Pact