I've argued in the past that copyright is a non-partisan
issue, in that the concepts behind fixing a broken copyright system shouldn't be specific to either major political party. Unfortunately, historically, that's meant that there's been bi-partisan interest in helping Hollywood expand the system over and over and over and over again (15 expansions
in the last 30 years). However, as we saw over the weekend with the wonderful
RSC brief that was released
in a day, there is significant interest in some circles to explore the idea of substantial copyright reform, which includes recognizing that the existing system is not functioning up to the standards set forth in the Constitution.
Along those lines, it's interesting timing to see that the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is about to publish a book on why conservatives and libertarians should support copyright reform
called Copyright Unbalanced: From Incentive to Excess
. The book was put together by Jerry Brito, and he describes some of what's in the book as follows:
- Yours truly [Jerry Brito] making the Hayekian and public choice case for reform
- Reihan Salam and Patrick Ruffini arguing that the GOP should take up the cause of reforming what is now a crony capitalist system
- David Post explaining why SOPA was so dangerous
- Tim Lee on the criminalization of copyright and the a use of asset forfeiture in enforcing copyright
- Christina Mulligan explaining that the DMCA harms competition and free expression
- Eli Dourado calculating that the system we have today likely far exceeds what we need in order to offer authors an incentive to create
- Tom Bell suggesting five reforms for copyright, including returning to the Founders’ vision of what copyright should be
It's good to see more analysis of why the copyright system is in dire need of reform. While I still think this should be a non-partisan issue, rather than a strictly partisan one, it's interesting to see one side of the political spectrum popping up at this time to make the argument. Over the past few years, it's seemed like many of the arguments in favor of copyright reform came from the more liberal/progressive side of the spectrum anyway, so hopefully this "balances" out the calls for reform a bit and makes it clear: the time to fix the copyright system is now, no matter what your political persuasion might be.