Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Balance in Copyright

my_partner_doug pointed me to this article about copyright.  It argues that the original intent of copyright was to protect the public interest, not the interest of the author.  Current interpretation is to protect the copyright holder (who is often not the author). 

In my observation, balance is necessary for sustainable function: I believe we need a rights management system that protects both  the creator of the material and the general public.  I further believe that people do  have a natural right to their work, which ought to be respected, and that they should be protected from manipulative business practices that rob them of the benefits of their work.  Because otherwise?  Many people will do less work.  They may decide not to share it -- or they may decide to fling it outside the bounds of the market.  And since their labor is not respected, they're less likely to respect the work of others and more likely to treat it as shabbily as their own is treated; in other words, they see nothing wrong with taking for free what is supposed to be sold.  None of that is particularly good for creators or  the general public.

A healthy society is based on mutual respect and cooperation.  A healthy economy is based on equitable exchanges of value for goods and services.  When only the benefit of one side is considered, or is privileged above the other, the healthy process tends to break down.  If you want your society to continue in something resembling its current form, you must make sure that it's healthy and sustainable -- because if it's not, it will either collapse under the weight of its incompetence or be torn apart by people who want something that actually works.
Tags: economics, politics, reading, writing
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