31 Dec '11, 10am

Promote creativity? Encourage copying: Happy New Year change #copyright laws

Record companies, book publishers, movie studios and other media corporations are caught up in efforts to equate all copying of their works with theft. In fact, if we genuinely want to promote creativity, we must encourage copying. The idea that people copy because they lack creativity is powerfully harmful, and it runs counter to the history of copyright. For the first 300 years that copyright laws existed, the right to prevent unauthorised copying was determined not by property rules, but by reference to whether the defendant's work added new insights - whether the copier, too, was creating something. Verbatim copying, mere paraphrasing or qualitative copying of the heart of the work were all prohibited, because such copying did not provide new insights or evidence any creativity, but only acted as a substitute for the original. Yet there was considerable leeway for othe...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Commentary/EDC111229-0000015/P...

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