Information as an Artifact

I was reading this white paper on the role of copyright in the digital domain over the weekend. Great read, but one thing jumped out at me: Barlow suggested that our intuitions based on physical objects as property do not transfer to information as property because information is “abstract.”

I’ve probably mentioned this a dozen times just because the question has never left my present thoughts, but one of the questions in my oral comps concerned the preservation of information. Basically, I was asked to consider information as an artifact. It was a fascinating question, and I loved debating it with my committee.

The concept of information may be abstract, however the practice of information is not. Preservation of information has long been a human concern. Oral traditions developed to preserve information. Writing developed as a means of preserving information. We develop recording devices still to preserve information, and we try to migrate our information through each of these changes.

Found via Library Link of the Day


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