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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/3476/copyright-gone-mad/

Copyright Gone Mad

April 14, 2005 by

…as reported in this excellent piece, Whose music is it anyway?, by Norman Lebrecht. Lebrecht reports some absurd outcomes of copyright law, the application of which threatens to limit the availability of treasured classic music recordings.

But Lebrecht missteps when he concludes, “That is what judges are there to stop. Whoever ends up owning what, the law must make common sense and must ensure that the protection of copyright does not block the public footpath to cultural enlightenment.” This is wrong. Judges are there to do justice, where possible; this is how the common law developed; but they have a dual mission: they also have to construe statutes, legislator-made “law.” Given the bizarre, contradictory, ambiguous, and unjust principles that infuse modern copyright statutes, the judges cannot be blamed for their decisions. The very logic of intellectual property entails absurd results.(Thanks to RJ Stove for the link.)

{ 6 comments }

billwald April 16, 2005 at 12:07 pm

The great artists and writers were psychologically compelled to produce. Those who “create” to get rich don’t produce anything of lasting value.

Vanmind April 16, 2005 at 2:09 pm

Well, like I always say: artists and innovators are one-and-the-same.

Unfortunately, most “modern” people choose to suppress their artist-within, because the insidious conspiracy to bring neo-feudalism to the world has included (among other things) over a century of media-based anesthesia designed to lull generation after generation into entering the mines of mindless “production.”

Now we have become hollow shells, more intersted in litigating toward a pretense of success than in reviving discarded imagination.

Curt Howland April 17, 2005 at 1:49 pm

If I may insert one of my favorite subjects here, Free Software. The people who are writing Linux, Open Office, KDE, HURD, BSD, etc, are for the most part doing it on their own time for the love of making things work. Just as BillWald states above, it shows.

On the subject of this blog entry, the purpose of copyright, at least in the US, has been completely perverted. It has nothing to do with the particular artist/inventor, and everything to do with vested interests keeping their claws into everything they can for as long as they can. It’s about control.

The Senator from Disney’s purpose is to NEVER let the Mouse go public domain. Every time it gets close, they extend copyright protection again. Looking at what is happening with that in mind makes the absurdities far easier to understand.

Vanmind April 17, 2005 at 2:38 pm

A thousand monkeys working at a thousand typewriters would eventually be sued by some human.

zuzu April 19, 2005 at 1:36 am

If I may insert one of my favorite subjects here, Free Software. The people who are writing Linux, Open Office, KDE, HURD, BSD, etc, are for the most part doing it on their own time for the love of making things work.

better yet, this has been recognized most succinctly within the Free Software / open-source community as “scratch an itch”. in economic terms, programmers are identifying a personal need and devote private resources to satiate it, with the goal of generating value — those software users are henceforth more productive with the software than without it. this is exemplary of programmers truly owning (not 0wning :-p ) themselves and their computers. hence software that’s Free as in Freedom.

-z

There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back. — Robert A. Heinlein

zuzu April 19, 2005 at 1:38 am

A thousand monkeys working at a thousand typewriters would eventually be sued by some human.

A thousand humans working at a thousand workbenches would eventually be taxed by some army?

-z

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