Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hard Cases Make Bad Law; Library Journal, 9/4/14

Kevin L. Smith, Library Journal; Hard Cases Make Bad Law:
"From both of these cases we can learn some basic truths; basic, but not universally recognized, which means that we need to remind ourselves and others about them. Copyright is a human institution that protects human creative effort within specific limits. One of those limits is the public domain, which has always been a part of copyright and which itself protects the ability of future authors to exercise their own creativity. Copyright is a set of economic rights held by authors, but it is not a form of mind control; simply knowing something, or remembering it, is not—and cannot ever be—a copyright problem.
All laws need limits, lest they become an excuse for tyranny. These are some of the limits that are built into copyright, and they protect us from the unique types of tyranny that such a law might be prone to, including the illusion that every piece of culture must be owned by someone and that every use, even in one’s own mind, must be paid for."

No comments: