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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Orphan Works

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


Brat of the Brain

via Robert Levine an article in the New York Times Sunday Book Review that he professes to be sympathetic to. The point of the article is that authors have some sort of intrinsic right to any value generated by their work, and whether or not they try to claim it, it is our duty as a society to make sure they (or more likely their heirs) get it...

Morally and economically I could not disagree more strongly with this point of view. The act of creation does not mean an entitlement to tell other people who you have sold your creation to what they can do with your work. And the U.S. Constitution is pretty clear that the purpose of "exclusive rights" is to promote progress in science and useful arts - not to track down people who have exhibited no interest in being compensated. Tracking down owners of rights to orphan rights simply poses an additional cost to creating new works based on old works and enjoying old works - the additional incentive provided to authors is less than my clapping them on the back and saying "good job." The Constitution certainly does not say that nobody except the author can profit from an author's creation - and people can, should, and do profit greatly from works in the public domain.


   

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