Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Another historical perspective...

There are so many questions around the existing copyright system; not least is that, whatever the historical justifications, the world has changed a huge amount since the discussions were last had in full. The presumption that, for example, breach of copyright "for profit" should be seen in the same way as when it was "not for profit" was presumably not considered historically, because the costs of reproduction were such that breach was generally for profit.

Of course the initial presumption that producers of content should have special protection over above producers of other things should also be revisited. Why should not doctors be paid for every time you use the leg they repaired? Plumbers each time someone uses the tap they installed?

For those who want to debate the need for change, please go and read this entry to the Future of Copyright contest. Engage in the debate there, engage in it here, I'm happy. But don't get into the position of thinking there's nothing wrong, just because you're used to thinking that. Today's historical perspective:
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.  
Thomas Paine, 1776