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Essentially, TedNelson has proposed a radical (or predictive) new form of copyright. Instead of copying material, the redistributor merely sends to the recipient (aka reader) a reference to the original information. Then the recipient downloads that information from the original publisher in a manner controlled by that publisher (either for free or for charge). That is, by using a TransClusion.

This is very simple, very effective, and very real (finally). For instance, see LicensingMusic for some discussion of how TransCopyright works in the real world.

From an information theoretic point of view, TransCopyright is futile. Anyone who has already downloaded the bits can redistribute them, naturally. But that's been the same for copyright for hundreds of years. It's an honour system that works well enough to support the publishing industries as they stand right now.

Online, this could be much more lucrative, provided that consumers are willing to pay for their bits. Even better, publishing conglomerates may even have to adapt themselves to be more artist friendly because artists will be free to publish their works themselves. A publisher's only purpose would be marketing. Of course, marketing is usually done by volunteers online by the means of just mere linking to "Cool Site of the Day" pages to user review sites.

TransCopyright supplants the RightToInclude.

CategoryCopyright CategoryLaw


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