…If we are to retain the time-honored benefits of copyright—enabling creative groups and individuals to remain in business—it will require society to accept that some kinds of proprietary interest in data can be claimed, at least for a limited length of time.

Copyright cannot continue in the path it has traveled these last few decades, controlled by the large publishers and huge media giants. It is time for Copyright to return to what it once was meant to be: a limited system meant to encourage transparency and creativity, rather than to control creativity and build profits.

The change most likely isn’t going to come from the top. Congress is happy with their fat wallets and the publishing industries are happy with their huge profit margins. The change has to come from smart individuals, smart content creators, and smart businesses. The Creative Commons licenses present a useful core and a set of good stepping stones to help spread this change, but the change in technologies and the spread of the Internet have already started these large changes in how intellectual property is thought about and handled.

In the business world, as this change spreads from the bottom-up, big businesses will be asked to adapt or die. New businesses and small businesses will have the advantage, particularly if they strike while this iron is still heating up. Those that do will help to enhance and better our culture, instead of trying uselessly to sit on it and keep it from moving.