February 11, 2003

On "In Defense of Copyright Law" by Doug Isenberg

I started to take apart "In Defense of Copyright Law" by Doug Isenberg (link from Donna Wentworth / Copyfight). It's not worth it. Here, for example, is the problem with just one sentence.

Yet many of those same critics refuse to recognize that the law applies equally to every copyright owner, from starving artists to The Walt Disney Company, as well as everyone in between.

This is almost too easy. Yup, equally. In exactly the same sort of this equality:

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread"

Anatole France, Le Lys Rouge [1894], chapter 7

How many starving artists were helped by a retrospective copyright extension? That's a trick question. The answer is NONE. BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL DEAD!. Not dead because they are starving. But dead because prior copyright didn't expire until they had been in their graves for decades. Now it's more decades. So:

The law, in its majestic equality, applies equally to the rich existing corporations as well as the long-dead poor artists ...

And that's just one sentence.

Sigh. I know, the idea is to stir the pot, to get noticed by saying outrageous things. All part of the journo-game. And I suppose I just got sucked into it.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight | on February 11, 2003 04:14 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

Subscribe with Bloglines      Subscribe in NewsGator Online  Google Reader or Homepage