Noah Grey's Greymatter
There is an interesting interview of Noah Grey on WriteTheWeb. This article holds not only a little bit of history about weblogs -- Noah Grey is the creator of Greymatter, "the original opensource weblogging and journal software" -- but a thoughtful point of view about copyright and intellectual property:
I'm mystified and slightly angered by the growing feeling among many on the web that the rights of artists over their own work just aren't important (or are at least of equal importance to the user's desire to do whatever they want with it). [...] The ethic of openness and sharing is a great one, but somehow that got mutated in a lot of people's minds into the idea that it should be the users deciding what's open, and not the artists.
For years now I've had numerous conversations with artists (mostly musicians, painters and photographers) about their perception of the web as a threat and/or an opportunity. Their first impression was always the threat to their IP rights but they also perceived the web as an opportunity to touch their audiences, morover in a much more direct and broader way than through traditional channels. Artists are no fools and they are perfectly entitled to fight for what is simply their gagne-pain.
I mostly agree with what Noah Grey says in that after Napster and Kazaa there is a growing number of users who think they have a right to exchange, copy, duplicate whatever can flow through the Net. However, the real feeling that emerges all around the world seems more related to the behavior of the music industry alone.