In ancient times, there was a library in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. Over the centuries, it had built a collection of all of humanity’s knowledge and culture at the time. While only accessible to the people willing and capable to travel to Alexandria, it was the greatest treasure ever lost to mankind.
But today, we have rebuilt that treasure. We have built the Library of Alexandria 2.0. While admittedly not available to everyone, it’s still two billion people who are able to access all of humanity’s collective knowledge and culture, as well as contribute to it as equals.
In writing this repository of human knowledge and culture, a 9-year-old schoolgirl in Uruguay who has just got her first laptop is an equal to an established middle-aged man in rich Switzerland. This new library is therefore also the greatest equalizer that mankind has ever invented.
Like the debate preceding public libraries, this equalization is a strong and desirable result. But unlike the debate preceding public libraries, it won’t cost taxpayers a cent. All the necessary technology has already been invented, all the infrastructure is already in place, and the two billion people already have tools they need to access and contribute to this rebuilt Library of Alexandria.
Again, like the debate on public libraries, the ones blocking this progress are a few special interests with monopolies. The copyright monopoly.
The Library of Alexandria 2.0 is already here. All we have to do is just to remove the ban on using it. Isn’t it time we removed the ban on private copying altogether and worldwide?
It’s enough to start in one country for the rest to follow, you know.