Do We Really Need To Have Copyright At All?

from the changing-the-debate dept

I’ve been having this exact discussion with people for a while now. So many people go with the implicit assumption that various intellectual property laws like copyright and patents are necessary (even if they think they should be reformed drastically). However, some are beginning to question whether or not we need copyrights at all. A recent study has shown that the “benefits” from copyrights are overblown while the costs are underestimated (you can see a copy of that paper online here). I think this is a topic worthy of debate, which many people automatically cut off, saying that we simply need intellectual property protection. I’m not yet convinced of that.

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Comments on “Do We Really Need To Have Copyright At All?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

I wrote a song a year ago (I write lots of music all the time, but I’m singling out this one song). I wrote, recorded, and put it out for no particular reason, just my own entertainment, no expectations for anything in the future.

Now, a company is going to pay me to use that song in a multimedia project. I don’t really know if they are paying me because they have to or because they are just nice folks. It is a very small market that they are in and I would likely never know about their use of the song.

But, the law is on my side and I suspect that law played at least some role in the company’s decision to find me and give me a little bit of money. I have to admit that getting the money is very nice and is an additional “reward” that will keep me writing and recording music. Whether or not this is actually any sort of contribution to society is arguable.

How does the “do away with copyrights” argument address this situation?

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