I hope to God that the plaintiffs don’t win this case.
Here’s the implication if the plaintiffs win: Knowledge is now copyrighted. Copyrighted in that you have to pay the owner of the piece of knowledge for knowing it. For ninety years.
I’m sure the RIAA and MPAA are following this avidly. After all, we’re talking about the ownership of songs. With the right technology, we could see constant reenactments of Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind in record stores and courts for a long time.
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Why am I worried about corporations erasing people’s memories? Simple: Ownership not only implies the right of use, but the right to dictate non-use. In short, if Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent win the court case, they can actually dictate that authors and others are barred from reading their book and gleaning the (questionable, in my opinion) knowledge within. And, theoretically, if they can bar knowledge, they could remove this knowledge.
Now, what would it take to remove knowledge from the mind?
Consider this: Once you stick something in your mind, it may die out or it may connect to other items in your memory. If you embrace it, the connections grow deep. Try to erase the original item without erasing these side items. If the item becomes a matter of faith with a multitude of connections to other items, can we expect a major change in personality?
And what happens when that piece of knowledge has a strong connection with the society that individual runs around with? Imagine losing friends, work, knowledge of his surroundings, habits, and unable to have any sort of regular life because of the inability to learn that set of knowledge that would link you to all these things.
And if that knowledge in intimately related to your family? Say goodbye to your identity.
THAT’S what we’re going to deal with if Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent win their case. And not just for some book loaded with enough falsehoods to sink a ship.