LXer: Why Copyright Shouldn't Be Considered Property... And Why A Return To 1790 Copyright May Be De
Published at LXer:
The discussion on those is very interesting, both in the book and in the podcast. I won't spoil it all for you yet, but I will say that, yes, he's talking about going back to what copyright law was in 1790 -- meaning that it only lasts for two 14 year terms, and that it should cover only "maps, charts and books" since that's what the founders intended. Also, infringement only happened if you copied the entire thing. Copying a section was fine. Interestingly, Bell's next book (also published by Mercatus) will apparently be published under those exact terms. As for why other things shouldn't be covered, well, he notes that the founders didn't appear to think such expressive works like music, painting and sculpture required copyright, and it's not clear why that should have changed.
Copyright laws ought to be what they were intended for. They were meant to provide creative people, groups, companies with protection for their hard work. In exchange for that government protection the work would fall into public ownership. Sadly special interest groups have used this as a tool of leverage. They have also extended limits unreasonably.
We still need this protection or fall victim to a socialist type of scheme were your hard word goes un-rewarded. I wouldn't waste my time on a new idea if all I got was a paper to hang on my wall.
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