The Economist on copyright


General Culture

“At the moment, the terms of trade favour publishers too much. A return to the 28-year copyrights of the Statute of [queen] Anne would be in many ways arbitrary, but not unreasonable. If there is a case for longer terms, they should be on a renewal basis, so that content is not locked up automatically. The value society places on creativity means that fair use needs to be expanded and inadvertent infringement should be minimally penalised. None of this should get in the way of the enforcement of copyright, which remains a vital tool in the encouragement of learning. But tools are not ends in themselves.” (full text)