A consensus has recently emerged among academics and policymakers that US copyright law has fallen out of balance. Lawmakers have responded by taking up proposals to reform the Copyright Act. But how should they proceed? This book offers a new and insightful view of copyright, marking the path toward a world less encumbered by legal restrictions and yet richer in art, music, and other expressive works.
Two opposing viewpoints have driven the debate over copyright policy. One side questions copyright for the same reasons it questions all restraints on freedoms of expression, and dismisses copyright, like other forms of property, as a mere plaything of political forces. The opposing side regards copyrights as property rights that deserve—like rights in houses, cars, and other forms of property—the fullest protection of the law.
Each of these viewpoints defends important truths. Both fail, however, to capture the essence of copyright. Intellectual Privilege reveals copyright as a statutory privilege that threatens our natural and constitutional rights. From this fresh perspective come fresh solutions to copyright’s problems.
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