Thursday, December 21, 2006

Can someone give me the name of a good buggy whip maker?

No really, I want to talk to one. There should be several in every large town, just like there used to be. Because it would be immoral to deprive them of their "right" to make money in the way that they want to.

"But that's absurd," you say, if you've never heard the argument before. "You'd have to outlaw cars to protect the buggy whip manufacturing business." Yes, and that's exactly what the buggy whip makers tried to do: ban the car.

Copyright does the exact same thing buggy whip makers tried to do: it protects a specific business model. The "right to control copying" exists to encourage people to go into the business of creating new works.

We, as a society, benefit from having new works. We have agreed to grant creators of those works a temporary monopoly on reproducing and selling those works. If the specific method that we're using to encourage creation actually serves to restrict creation, our method needs to change.

Everyone who thinks the RIAA is responsible for increasing the net creative output of the world, raise your hand ... Everyone who thinks the MPAA is the creative force behind independent film, raise your hand ...

Copyright law was a specific solution to a specific problem. It doesn't codify some inherent human right. If the "solution" has been pushed too far in one direction, which I believe it has, it's time to re-think the balance. Or maybe come up with some new way to encourage creation of easily-copied works.

No comments: