Public Knowledge

by on October 13, 2012

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This morning I got an e-mail from Amazon.com. As part of a settlement with book publishers, I will receive an automatic credit to my account “that it will range from $0.30 to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book that [I] purchased between April 2010 and May 2012.” That’s good news, but it’s indicative problem. We live in a time when intellectual property is becoming a massive economic issue. The patent stuff between Apple, Samsung, Google and dozens of other players is getting ridiculous, and our government is trying to pass legislation that significantly inhibits our ability to share information. As someone who has built a business based on intellectual property, I understand why rightsholders are being defensive, but I also think that they’re hurting their businesses by limiting use of their content. We need some sanity, and that’s exactly what Public Knowledge is aiming to restore. They’re a Washington, DC based non-profit that “preserves the openness of the Internet and the public’s access to knowledge, promotes creativity through balanced copyright, and upholds and protects the rights of consumers to use innovative technology lawfully.”

Make Your Knowledge Public Knowledge

Public Knowledge focuses on issues in four core areas: Open Internet, Promoting Creativity, Open & Accessible Technology, and International. The kinds of issues that they work on range from the AT&T/T-Mobile Merger to Fashion Copyright to The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Their main goal in all of these areas is “balanced copyright,” which probably means something different to nearly everyone. Still, there has to be a better way to approach intellectual property. Public Knowledge is a voice for the consumers. If you’d like to join them, take a look at their Careers page to learn about their unpaid internship opportunities.

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