Which is to say that There recognizes a new IP right -- call it the “right of virtual distribution.” The first person to upload a design has the exclusive right to sell that design There. Never mind that that this design would have been unprotectable trade dress in the real world (most clothing designs don't qualify for the trademark-like trade dress protections because they're insufficiently distinctive). Never mind that this design might just be a scan of a public-domain image. It doesn't matter. The first uploader is the recipient of a There-enforced perpetual monopoly. —
“This whole environment is odd to me,” says Ellen [Ullman, author of geek tragedy The Bug], later on. “I really do wonder at the pleasure. Help me understand this.”
“Maybe we can open that up to the audience,” I say. “Folks, what is the pleasure in here for you?” ...
“Freedom to be someone else,” puts in Cienna Rand, “and to create whatever you want. The creation you can do with say, Maya or Photoshop, but here you can easily show it to others, and interact. Sort of like open source.”