Sunday, December 5, 2010

Copyright's Motives

Cory Doctorow (of BoingBoing fame), writing for the Guardian Online, asks "Why does society value a copyright?" It's a RTWT kind of post. Here's a taste:
Diversity of participation matters because participation in the arts is a form of expression and, here in the west's liberal democracies, we take it as read that the state should limit expression as little as possible and encourage it as much as possible. It seems silly to have to say this, but it's worth noting here because when we talk about copyright, we're not just talking about who pays how much to get access to which art, we're talking about a regulation that has the power to midwife, or strangle, enormous amounts of expressive speech.

Here's something else copyright can't and won't do and doesn't do: deliver a market where creators (or investors) set a price for creative works, and audiences buy those works or don't, letting the best float to the top in a pure and free marketplace. Copyright has never really worked like this, and it certainly doesn't work like this today.

1 comment:

Ian Thal said...

Perhaps I cannot expect to make a living off of the copyrights of my work, but I still expect the social capital of my copyright, because I certainly have had the experience of others taking something I wrote and neither identifying my authorship nor linking back to the original (assuming it was something I posted to the web.)