Breck's Blog - Intellectual Freedom Posts

AIs may train on everything. You may not.

May 14, 2024 — In America, AIs have more freedom to learn than humans. This worries me.

Do you want learn at the same library as ChatGPT, Gemini, Grok, or Llama?

Then you must become a criminal.

You have no legal option[1].

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Newton, Darwin, and a modern Scientist go to heaven.

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February 14, 2024 — The color of the cup on my desk is black.

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May 26, 2023 — What is copyright, from first principles? This essay introduces a mathematical model of a world with ideas, then adds a copyright system to that model, and finally analyzes the predicted effects of that system.

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April 28, 2023 — Enchained symbols are strictly worse than free symbols. Enchained symbols serve their owner first, not the reader.

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Open sourcing more of my life for honesty

March 6, 2023 — I believe Minsky's theory of the brain as a Society of Mind is correct[1]. His theory implies there is no "I" but instead a collection of neural agents living together in a single brain. We all have agents capable of dishonesty—evolved, understandably, for survival—along with agents capable of acting with integrity. Inside our brains competing agents jockey for control.

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Or: If lawyers invented a filesystem

January 27, 2023 — Today the trade group Lawyers Also Build In America announced a new file system: SAFEFS. This breakthrough file system provides 4 key benefits:

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August 30, 2022 — Public domain products are strictly superior to equivalent non-public domain alternatives by a significant margin on three dimensions: trust, speed, and cost to build. If enough capable people start building public domain products we can change the world.

It took me 18 years to figure this out. In 2004 I did what you would now call "first principles thinking" about copyright law. Even a dumb 20 year old college kid can deduce it's a bad system and unethical. I have to tell people so we can fix this. I was naive. Thus began 18 years of failed strategies and tactics.

One of the many moves in the struggle for intellectual freedom. Aaron Swartz is a hero whose name and impact will expand for eons.

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May 12, 2021 — This post is written for people who already are "partisans" on the issues of copyrights and patents. Here I am not trying to educate newcomers on the pros of Intellectual Freedom. I am writing to those who are already strong supporters of open source, Sci-Hub, the Internet Archive, and others. To that crowd I am trying to plant the seed for a new political strategy. If you think that copyright and patent laws could be a root contributor to some of the big problems of our day, like misinformation (or fake news) and inequality, this post is for you.

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February 28, 2021 — I thought it unlikely that I'd actually cofound another startup, but here we are. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

We are starting the Public Domain Publishing Company. The name should be largely self-explanatory.

If I had to bet, I'd say I'll probably be actively working on this for a while. But there's a chance I go on sabbatical quick.

The team is coming together. Check out the homepage for a list of open positions.

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February 21, 2020 — One of the most unpopular phrases I use is the phrase "Intellectual Slavery Laws".

I think perhaps the best term for copyright and patent laws is "Intellectual Monopoly Laws". When called by that name, it is obvious that there should be careful scrutiny of these kinds of laws.

However, the industry insists on using the false term "Intellectual Property Laws."

Instead of wasting my breath trying to pull them away from the property analogy, lately I've leaned into it and completed the analogy for them. So let me explain "Intellectual Slavery Laws".

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