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  • Nov 30th, 2010 @ 1:58pm

    Copyright is creators' source of bargaining power

    One more critical virtue of copyright property: without it, one has no bargaining power with which to extract a decent sum to permit third party uses. Mess that "right" of authors up, and you blow away all (financial) incentive to create. So, do not mess with copyright. Copyright is much wiser than some among the digerati think.

    What most miss (apart from talent professionals and professional licensors, who tend to avoid these debates) is that the aggregation model of corporations does not work very well in the licensing arena. The large corporate structure in entertainment is, I posit, in the process of evolving to a flatter hierarchy, more individually based world. Big corporations are an artifact of their monopoly of the presses (and the studios) in the old physical world. Entertainment licensing is inherently creative, personal, and discretionary. It is best done, not by corporate drones in back rooms, but by the artist him or herself using a professional licensing agent/lawyer, who works on limited commission -- and acts under principles of strict fiduciary duty to that artist. The outsize commissions that publishers award themselves to license "for" artists, in no way incentivizes successful exploitation. In fact, it incentivizes the opposite -- passive rentseeking.