There’s a school of thought that uses the catch phrase:
Information wants to be free.
You can read a pretty good summary of the notions over at the Wikipedia page for it.
Whenever I hear someone espousing this viewpoint, I’m immediately reminded of that old computer science saying, don’t anthropomorphise computers … they don’t like it!
The problem with this argument is that it’s an inherently silly one. Information in and of itself is not sentient. Until there are a plethora of real artificial intelligences in our world, it will be logically incorrect to say “information wants to be free”.
The real saying should be:
It doesn’t need to be any more complex than that. The problem with the first saying (other than being logically incorrect) is that there’s no essential purpose in information “wanting” freedom. Originally designed to argue against overprotective intellectual property laws that cause undue expense, the statement and other associated terms have become a catch cry of those advocating unmitigated piracy. In that context, “Information wants to be free”, may as well be “Give me free entertainment”. The problem of course with “give me free entertainment” is that it often means the people responsible for creating the content and entertainment in the first place are liable to go unrewarded.
The focus of any such argument should actually be about the empowerment of information, and that literally is: Information Frees. People who have ready access to information are going to be able to make better decisions than those who are kept in the dark. People can’t learn without access to information, and there are limits to how well society can develop without shared information.
Information doesn’t want to be free, it doesn’t want anything. When accessible and affordable however, information frees.