re: perpetual copyright

Mark Helprin, author of A Solder of the Great War and Winter’s Tale wrote an op-ed in the New York Times two years ago arguing for further extension of copyright protection. He wrote a book, solidifying his argument, called Digital Barbarism: A Writer’s Manifesto.

If Helprin is right, then I can’t share his persuasive arguments with you, because they are part of his book and under copyright. If I thought Helprin was right, my only option, to propagate his ideas and try to gain their universal acceptance, would be to recommend that everyone in the world buy his book. You can see the problem here.

Fortunately, those of us who think some intellectual property is important enough to belong to society at large and that after some limited period of protection all intellectual property should eventually revert to the public, that fair-use plays an important role in society, etc. are not so hampered by our belief system.

See the great discussion at the Lessig Wiki.