Virginia Postrel on Why Robert Frost’s Copyright Has Miles to Go Before It Sleeps.

f3dfwell i stand up next to a moun Virginia Postrel on Why Robert Frosts Copyright Has Miles to Go Before It Sleeps.

Former Reason Editor Virginia
Postrel (Reason archive
here) has a great column up at Bloomberg about copyright law
and how it’s totally lost its way. The short version of the article
is this: “A copyright isn’t supposed to be a reward. It’s supposed
to be an incentive.”
Read the whole thing for a fascinating meditation on the
copyright history of Robert Frost’s fascinating meditation on
mortality, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

Just as an effective emissions-trading system depends on getting
right the exact number of permits and total amount of emissions, so
a good copyright system depends on setting the right terms, limits
on fair use and enforcement mechanisms.
“If copyright is weak, then it will provide little incentive to
create,” [Mercatus Center scholar Jerry] Brito writes. “But if it
is too strong, then it will limit the public’s ability to enjoy and
build on creative works, which after all is the reason why we have
copyright in the first place.”
Striking that balance is tricky, even without political
pressure. And lawmakers have shown little interest in trying to
reason out the optimal solution. Instead of balancing the interests
of consumers and future producers with financial incentives to
create new works today, copyright has become an expanding monopoly
privilege for well-connected industries.

Read the whole thing.
Watch this great recent Reason TV interview about copyright:



Virginia Postrel on Why Robert Frost’s Copyright Has Miles to Go Before It Sleeps.

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