Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Purpose of Copyright; Open Spaces, 8/10

Lydia Pallas Loren, Open Spaces; The Purpose of Copyright:

"The newspaper you read this morning, the television show you watched last night, the movie you are going to see this weekend, the computer software you use to prepare your letters or send your email, the music you listen to in the car on your way to work: they are all copyrighted. Copyright permeates our lives and yet, despite its impact on our lives, relatively few people, including lawyers, have sufficient knowledge or understanding of what copyright is. And far too many people, including lawyers, have major misconceptions concerning copyright. These misconceptions are causing a dangerous shift in copyright protection, a shift that threatens the advancement of knowledge and learning in this country. This shift that we are experiencing in copyright law reflects a move away from viewing copyright as a monopoly that the public is willing to tolerate in order to encourage innovation and creation of new works to viewing copyright as a significant asset to this country's economy. The most recent example of this shift is the new Digital Millennium Copyright Act, sign by the President on October 28, 1998.

Understanding the root cause and the dangers of this shift requires exposing the most fundamental and most common misconception concerning the underlying purpose of the monopoly granted by our copyright law."


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