Could Evidence-Based Copyright Law Ever Be Put In Place?
from the perhaps-not dept
I don't think copyright law needs to be that way. If the real purpose of copyright law is to "promote the progress," then why not make sure it's doing so? In other words, why not have actual evidence-based copyright law? There's a lot of historical evidence that can be looked at, and different ideas around copyright law can be empirically tested. If it doesn't promote the progress, get rid of it. If it does, then shouldn't that make almost everyone better off?
The real problem, though, is that there is a very small group of companies who disproportionately benefit from today's copyright laws -- at the expense of the public. And they have a ridiculously powerful lobby who aren't about to give up their monopoly rights, no matter how much evidence there is that it harms the public and does not promote the progress at all. So we're left with a bad system that continually gets worse. And no evidence-based system will ever be allowed, because it would almost certainly strip that small, but powerful, group of their monopoly rents.
People often assume that I'm in favor of just tossing out all copyright law. I'd argue that I'm more agnostic on the subject than anything else. I don't care about "copyright law" per se. I care about what's going to best promote the progress. If someone can show me that copyright actually can do that, I'm willing to understand how. But if we can't present the evidence of how, or actually defend what good copyright does, the I'm left wondering why it's there at all.