Why not just abolish copyright and the whole intellectual property industry?

This would be perfect to be one of the Friday rants I have been doing on Linkedin for quite some time, but why not do it directly on the Rights Chain blog? As a side thought, I simply thought of moving the column to the blog here, rather than leaving it as a Linkedin post.

And in line with this thought: everything is content, content is everything.

Let's abolish it. Copyright, trademarks, patents, everything.

What's the point of them anyway?

All you have to do is go to any fair or festival to find counterfeit merchandise, bought on some e-commerce platform at very low prices.

And, if the merchandise cannot be found, just open Instagram, Tumblr or any other platform to find the image we like and make it a gadget that travels great at that moment. Who checks craft products sold at trade fairs anyway?

I am not limiting myself to trade fairs, those cultural events where masses of individuals go in search of something to satisfy their souls.

I am talking about everything.

Found an illustration you like? Download it, because the odds of you knowing who made it are vanishingly small; you probably saw it on one of the 'thousand thousand' fake profiles that are created every day by bots (which officially don't exist, because investors don't like the term 'fake profiles'). Bots that have more followers than the artists who create those works.

Found a product that interests you but costs too much? Go to that other e-commerce site, you will probably find the same thing at a lower price, obviously counterfeit. That is, if it is not a fake e-commerce site and you will not only not get the product, you will also find your credit card for sale on the dark web.

Fake accounts that, paradoxically, somehow manage to get an ecnomic return from what they do, through sponsored posts thanks to the 'organic traffic' they generate, and the artists don't. 

Or selling fake or stolen content.

You can't draw, you're not an artist? What's the big deal? Use Midjourney or Ninijourney or any other Generative AI to create images or photographs with an objectively crazy impact. Create prints, take them to an event and sell them. Why not autograph them, too?

And speaking of MJ, NJ or all the Generative AIs, why not mention that they were fuelled by millions and millions of works created by other artists who, unaware of what was happening, found their work thrown into an algorithmic furnace that now yields economically to someone else?

Made an interesting piece of music? Publish it on Spotify or any other platform, among the hundreds of thousands of tracks that are uploaded every day, in the hope of receiving (perhaps) a thousandth of a dollar for the small circle of followers (any deja-vu?) that you have struggled to build in the illusion of getting exposure? Only to find out that your own track is played by some YouTube channel with a hundred thousand followers, with no credits, without even mentioning that it's yours?

Then suppose it becomes a hit, is produced by some famous artist. That's not bad, is it? How do you prove you are actually the author of it anyway? And most importantly, what economic power do you possess to challenge the right to be recognised as an author or songwriter?

Let's abolish the trademark industry.

You clash with e-commerce giants that first promise to give you access to a global market under extreme (not to mention slavery-like) conditions. Then if your product does well, they copy it and it becomes a 'premium product', made by someone else. How much can you, a small artisan or trader, afford to go and fight a titan on the other side of the world?

Or patents?

Have you created an innovative solution? Patent it! Then everyone with sufficient economic strength, stronger than yours, can go fishing for the patent, recognise your idea as innovative, invest in perfecting it and market it more efficiently. Just for economic reasons: it's you again, against a titan. And the titan, if it finds your idea even remotely close to theirs, sends you a 'polite request to cease' letter, which is in fact an intimidation not to try.

What is the point of having legislation 'to protect creativity' if there are no tools to counter the catastrophic amount of IP infringement that happens on a daily basis?

Have you ever tried to open a complaint for 'copyright infringement' on a social platform? Or for a counterfeit profile? Or for a stolen profile?

A (purposely) intricate and complex mechanism that, in the end, does not solve the problem, but rather continues to sweep the dirt under the carpet.

Content is removed, maybe the account gets a pat on the wrist with its suspension or removal.

And yet!

The content reappears, somewhere else, with another name, with more followers than before.

The benefit for those whose work has been violated? None.


Content is everything, creativity is what continues to create innovation.

Yet, on a daily basis, creativity is treacherously usurped using weapons of mass dissemination that we call 'social media' which, could not care less of the authors and creators: it is enough for the content to flow through the platform, to be 'consumed' by greedy dopamine seekers and generate further addiction.

It doesn't matter who creates the content, as they will never have the way or the strength to deal with a monster like a social media platform, while it will continue to engulf the work, the hours, the years of study or the ingenious gimmicks of talent, mowing them down and throwing them into a huge meat grinder disguised as 'opportunity'.

Creativity is everything.

Creativity is valuable.

But less and less for those who create.

About the Author

Sebastian Zdrojewski

Sebastian Zdrojewski

Founder, (He/Him)

Worked for 25 years in the IT industry facing cyber security, privacy and data protection problems for businesses. In 2017 founds Rights Chain, a project aiming to provide resources and tools for copyright and intellectual property protection for Content Creators, Artists and Businesses.