The idea that information is not (or should not be) ownable, and subject to buying or selling. The background of this idea is that no information is created out of a vacuum; no matter what you create it is always based of previous information. You are standing on the shoulders of giants, as it were, and it would be presumptious to say the least to assert this your derived information as your property. The very term intellectual property is an oxymoron.

Another reason why information should not be owned, is that there is no need for it. Ordinary objects exist in limited quantities, and there is a certain cost associated with duplicating. For (digital) information however, the duplication cost is basically zero. Because of this, there is no reason why not everyone should have unlimited and free access to information.

See also Information wants to be free.

This is not a new idea, folks. Here's some oh-so-timely wisdom from one of the great thinkers of all time...

"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement, or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property."

Thomas Jefferson, from a letter to Isaac McPherson, August 13, 1813.

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