Replace Copyright Law with the Right To Copy Law.

2013/09/06.

If ever there was a law with an oxymoronic title it is the copyright law. It denies people the right to copy yet it is called the 'copyright'. It should have been called CopyWrong law or CopyIsWrong law or CopyPrevention law. These laws were designed in a century when it was difficult to copy. To encourage distribution of created works the right to copy was restricted to get publishers to spend money on printing and distribution in return for profit. When hundreds of millions of people disobey or break a law EVERY day then it is called civil resistance and that law has become obsolete in a century where it has become super easy to copy.

Protect the right to profit not the right to copy.

We all agree that authors should be compensated for their works if they want to be compensated. So we should protect the right of the author to profit from his work for a time. But to prevent people from sharing that work when there is no money involved is an infringement of the people's right to share. Under this view it will be illegal to share a copyrighted work on youtube as it is a for profit site. But it will not be illegal to share it with your friend or personal website as long as there is no money or advertisements involved. It will also be legal to own a copy no matter how it was obtained. Because every man has the right to preserve the works of mankind by making a copy.

Everyone is a creator and publisher

When anyone can publish his own blog, music, videos then everyone has become a publisher and creator. Don't tell me that without the copyright law people will stop creating. People were writing books and songs and plays long before the first copyright law. So copyright law is not necessary to encourage people to create. Open source software has grown leaps and bounds even though there is no profit motive involved. In the future those who share their works without any expectation of return will see their works spread the most. The entire web is built on top of the free open source frameworks. If you do not want your work to be shared freely then STOP creating. We do not care. There will be plenty of others who will create and share for free. The problem is not too little creativity. It is too much creativity. Two million books are published every year. Fifty thousand films are made in a year. When supply far exceeds the demand like this prices fall to zero. When you have a million competitors only those who give away their works for free or those who do a lot of promotion and advertising will even get any attention. Science is built upon open publication and free sharing. Yet or more likely because of that science and maths doubles every ten years. The word 'PUBLIshing' comes from the word 'PUBLIc'. Anything that is published belongs to the public. If you do not want others to enjoy your work for free do not make it public, do not publish it.

No monopoly without registration and fees

Require every monopolist (copyright holder) to register with every government and pay an yearly fees to make the governments enforce his monopoly privileges on his work in their jurisdictions. Without such fees the government should not waste tax payers money on copyright courts copyright judges and prisons enforcing monopoly privileges on behalf of the monopolist. Without registration the work becomes public domain in that country where it is not registered. Copyright monopoly is to protect the profits of the publishers. If the publishers are not willing to pay a fees then they are not entitled to the profits at taxpayer expense. Copyright should not be automatic and registration free and fees free. Copyright must be a claimed privilege for which the government must be paid yearly. If patent and trademark monopolies require registration and fees why should copyright monopoly be free and automatic? At first copyright was rightly called printing monopoly privileges. But to avoid the negative connotation of word 'monopoly' and 'privilege' the proponents chose to rename it oxymoronically as 'the copyright' law.

Reduce copyright tenure to a maximum of five years

Most software become obsolete in a few years. Windows versions get end of lifed within five years. If copyright tenure is restricted to five years then only the latest windows version will be under protection, end of lifed versions of windows will not be protected which no one wants anyway. Very few books generate income for more than a year. Films generate most of their revenues within a few months. Films used to run on theatres for years in the past. Now most of them run hardly for months or even weeks. After that they generate very little revenue over the remaining copyright period of 60 years. It is criminal to deny mankind the right to copy such films during this period when the authors and publishers make very little from that film anyway. Protect the right to profit for a few years maximum (on compulsory registration and fees). Not more than five years. Then return the right to copy to mankind. Without the support/infrastructure of mankind such films would never have been made anyway. So mankind has equal or more preservation rights to the works of man than the authors themselves.

Sharing is natural, Monopolies are unnatural

Children learn by imitation/copying. We are the descendents of apes. To ape means to copy. Copying is in our DNA. In fact the function of DNA is replication ie to make copies. Copying is the first step to creation. First you make lots of copies of works you are interested in. Then you become an expert in that work. Then you create a new work based on what you learned through copying. All new work is based on pre-existing work in some part.

User Copies preserve Creation

When millions of books are created every year there are many books that sink without a trace. They become extinct because no one has been allowed to make a copy and the book or creation dies because no one on earth has a copy. By the time copyright expires no one is interested in a work. Also by the time copyright expires a work may no longer be accessible to the public to make copies of. So the user's right to copy must exist from the moment a work is created for that work to be preserved by users interested in such work. Only then will creativity will get archived by users. There are many books that I read when I was a kid that I cant find anymore anywhere either for sale or for torrent. They have gone missing from my private library also (probably someone borrowed them and failed to return it). As far as I am concerned they have sadly become extinct. There are many films and cartoons that I remember seeing as a kid that I cant find anywhere for sale or torrent. This shouldn't be the case. Creation must be preserved. Users sharing copies must become legal.

Abandoned property is public domain

A well known rule of law is that abandoned property becomes public domain. Many, if not most, copyrighted books/films/software are literally abandoned by their authors and publishers just a few months or years after creation as it is no longer viable to sell them. It must become legal for users to copy such works without permission to preserve them from extinction.


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