Monday, June 9, 2014

Why Copyright Used to Work Well and Why Copyright Doesn't Work Today

aka. The source of all the problems with modern copyright summarized. This is especially designed for copypasta usage.

In the olden days, mass copying of information was an industrial activity. To copy something you needed machines that were expensive. For example a printing press. These machines where not typically owned by individuals, but rather specialized businesses like publishers and print houses. Copyright chiefly exists to reserve the right of copying to the original author of a work. As mass copying was an industrial activity, copyright was an industrial regulation. Copyright worked very well.

The main result of the information age is the invention of powerful copying machines which are created for the general public. These machines are owned by almost everyone (smartphones, computers, etc.). The tools for mass copying are now in the hands of the general public. Copyright is therefore no longer an industrial regulation, but a law that affects the ordinary dealings of the people wit large. The problem is copyright was never designed or intended to be anything more than an industrial regulation.

All, and I mean all issues with copyright today stem from this.

Richard Stallman goes into more detail on this and what should be done.