John Perry Barlow, you say?
Nope. Read on.
A posting on Dave Farber's IP list says:
Subject: Barlow... NOT!
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 16:44:57 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bruce R Koball <email@example.com>
oh fer cryin' out loud... the next thing you know, he'll be credited with writing the Constitution...Barlow has said some clever things in his day but the "information want to be free" aphorism is not one of 'em.
That was Stewart Brand's creation, originally uttered in 1984, at the first Hackers' Conference, and printed in a report in the May 1985 "Whole Earth Review." It later turned up in his book, "The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT," published in 1987:
"Information Wants To Be Free. Information also wants to be expensive. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine---too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. That tension will not go away. It leads to endless wrenching debate about price, copyright, 'intellectual property', the moral rightness of casual distribution, because each round of new devices makes the tension worse, not better."