Where copyright comes from
Posted Jan 30, 2013 23:22 UTC (Wed) by Max.Hyre
In reply to: Villa: Pushing back against licensing and the permission culture
Parent article: Villa: Pushing back against licensing and the permission culture
The single historical instance you cite shows that some
creators will continue creating under adverse
In addition to that historical instance, consider those
instances occurring from the invention of speech until
when the English Parliament passed the Licensing Act, which
put control of copying in the hands of
Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers
a printers' guild).
In 1710 the government horned in on the deal with
, generally recognized as the first copyright
Every work of art¹ created before 1662 was created
without the monopoly of copyright. Shakespeare, Marlowe,
Geoffrey Chaucer, the
Venerable Bede, Julius Caesar, Strabo, Homer, Ogg the
caveman—none of them restrained their creativity due to
the lack of copyright.
The question is, would the “negative effect on society”
of losing “the 10% who don't” [continue
to create] outweigh the positive effect on society of
freeing use of the arts to other creators,
and freeing the citizenry from the fear of draconian
punishment for innocent infringement?
Don't mistake me—copyright has its place, and I
support it as originally conceived, but recent excesses lead me to question
whether no copyright is better than the régime we have now.
¹ Western art, anyway. I remain in ignorance of
Chinese and other practices.
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