Is there a right to click?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

There is a right to development, to food, to adequate housing and living standard and to water. But, is there a right to broadband? The right to information? The right to click? Stephen's web put it nicely:
Other museums ban photography (like the museum in Taiwan, that wouldn't allow me to photograph 6,000 year old artifacts - I really really think the expiry date has passed, and I doubt that the creators will be motivated into creating any new 6,000 year old artifacts). Come on now - curators of the world, give us our heritage back.
I have discussed this problem in my previous post:
What about information?

Information is originally a non-excludable Good. If I write a song, I cannot prevent you from singing it or changing my melody. Information is also a non-rival good. I can sing as much as I want, but it doesn't consume it. Einstein had 'consumed' Newton's theory, but he does not dminish it instead but develop something else from it. So ideally, information is a public good.

But, since generating information takes cost, the Law changes the attributes of information into "non-rivalrous but excludable". So, it is the excludability that the Law changes. How? By installing the intellectual property regime. If I write a song, that song is mine, "excludable" from others. If you take my notations and sell it to a music recorder, I can sue you because it is my right (and will still be my right until 50 years of my death according to the Berne Convention and even 70 years according to EU Directive).

Since IP protection of the goods in museum had elapsed, I think as a rule, there shouldn't be any reason to prevent people from photographing it.