The Constitution’s framers had it right. Soviet-style repression is not necessary to diminish authors’ output and influence. Just devalue their copyrights.
I’ve gotten a few e-mails asking I haven’t commented on Scott Turow’s op-ed article last weekend for the NY Times. I was. I just hadn’t gotten around to it.
Turow’s comments speak for themselves, and they’re pretty much on-point. I particularly like this part of his argument:
For many academics today, their own copyrights hold little financial value because scholarly publishing has grown so unprofitable. The copyrights of other authors, by contrast, often inhibit scholars who want to quote freely from those works or use portions in class. Thus, under the cri de coeur that “information wants to be free,” some professors and others are calling for copyright to be curtailed or even abandoned. High-minded slogans aside, these academics are simply promoting their own careers over the livelihoods of other writers.
Ouch! I think we all know who he’s referencing, and I have a few I could mention here as well (but I won’t). What do you think? Does copyright still create an incentive for authors to write, or a disincentive?