There are sustainable business models that can be built around freely licensed content, Wales says.
Question: How do we manage intellectual property online?
Jimmy Wales: I think that a lot of people are beginning to realize that there are sustainable business models that can be built around freely licensed content – around user-generated content that’s placed under a creative commons type of license, for example. And that begins to help resolve some of the classic issues that we’ve had.
For a long time, the whole copyright debate was really bogged down in a very polarized situation with some very alarmist ideas that the music industry is going to collapse because everybody is stealing their content online. Or the content creators are going to take control of the Internet and people won’t be able to post whatever because of the copyright issues.
But now we’re starting to see, well actually, there’s a more balanced approach – the idea of seeing some rights reserved; that people can share things under various licenses. We’re starting to see a lot more maturity around those issues. So I’m reasonably optimistic that it’s really not that big of a problem.