Copyright Critics Rationalize Theft - WSJ.com#mod=djemEditorialPage
repeatedly assert, copyright is an unjustifiable tax, a monopoly, and a bar to
creativity, why wouldn't they or anyone else be against it, as in fact they are?
Copyright is no more a tax than the price a merchant charges for an item in his shop or what a laborer receives for his labor. Nor is it a monopoly any more than you have a monopoly on the sale of a watermelon you might grow in your garden
Mark Helprin is an idiot, and shouldn't be allowed to write about a subject which he obviously does not understand.
Who suggests copyright is a tax? No one. It is an exclusive Right to Copy, on par with other rights established in our constitution. It is a Right with exclusions. These exclusions limit who owns the right, how long the right is, what can be protected, etc.
These exclusions have always been designed to be the balance between monopoly and chaos, and our congress, imbued with the power to regulate copyright, has a tough task to enforce a position of balance between the free creation of works and the free commerce of works.
The Statutes of Queen Anne wouldn't work anymore, since the technology to distribute is not concentrated to a wealthy and powerful few, but freely available to each creative artist.
Calling infringement theft and infringers pirates do nothing to encourage more, and better, works of the creative arts. The theives and pirates are in-fact the best customer of the creative artists - every distribution entity knows this, yet won't address it because they have an infantile need to hold on to how they have done things in the past.
Us vs. Them arguments simply serve to secure a hierarchical distribution system rooted in past technology and a revenue distribution system clearly benefitting the already-wealthy few. We need to protect more-firmly the ability of each creative artist to derive direct revenue from his or her work.
Helprin, read copyright law and the constitution, and grow a creative heart, and get back to us.