Field Test

Please help me road-test an idea. Which of the following do you find most persuasive?

Copyright is about balance between important rights. Creators’ exclusive rights to control the use of their works must be balanced against the needs of the public at large. Today, that balance has tipped too far towards creators, and important free speech rights are being suppressed in the name of copyright.

Copyright is about protecting people who have created something from having their work appropriated by people who copy without adding anything original. Today, copyright law often gets this idea backwards and lets people who’ve done nothing special go to court to suppress the work of people who are creating something.

Copyright is about economic efficiency. We give creators a monopoly over their works in order to give them an incentive to create, but because monopolies are inefficient, we also place limits on creators’ rights. Today, the copyright monopoly has stretched beyond its proper limits, resulting in less overall benefit to society.

Copyright is about rewarding deserving creators. But because all authors build on the creativity of past authors, copyright is limited. Today, copyright ties up a far greater fraction of past works than ever before, depriving creators of their necessary raw materials and preventing them from being as creative as they might be.