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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

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.


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A more nuanced view of copyright and enforcement

Matt Yglesias had two good blog posts on copyright yesterday, making a quite telling argument I had not seen before. The first post looks at the nature of "theft" implied by the use of the term piracy link here. He basically argues that it is not the usual form in which I deprive you of your property when I take an object and that therefore we can be much more relaxed about it.

The second looks at who benefits from copyright protection for things on the internet and whether it makes much difference in the incentive to create link here. Most violations occur on the internet where the returns to the creator for the high earning books and movies have become enormous; that constitutes, if anything, an incentive to produce less.

In short, why should public moneys be spent to guarantee ever higher, not to say exorbitant, returns to copyright owners? This is not the sort of argument lawyers will find attractive, but why trust their judgement since they are big gainers from enforcing prosecution. Better not to have the public pay for enforcement and make the lawyers earn their generous take.


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