Monday, June 16, 2008

Cato Unbound: Towards a Copyriot Act

Cato Unbound today published my reaction to Rasmus Fleisher's lead essay on the future of copyright. My essay, titled Towards a Copyriot Act—and Away from it, Again, describes "another future for copyright, one in which lawmakers impose crushing penalties to discourage rampant infringement." It begins by asking readers to put themselves in the shoes of a Hollwood executive, one who says,
“The police need to fire a few shots over the infringers’ heads. And if the looting continues, they should shoot some of the looters. That may sound severe, but we face a breakdown of civil order. After all, wouldn’t police — or perhaps the National Guard — do the same if mobs threatened to take over Wall Street, Rodeo Drive, or Constitution Avenue? Hollywood deserves the same protection. The time has come to get tough on infringement. The Copyright Act’s mild remedies evidently do not suffice. We need a Copyriot Act!",

Cato Unbound will next host a series of brief exchanges between Fleischer and we three who responded to his lead essay. Check The Future of Copyright issue for that debate, as well as all of the essays.

[Crossposted at Agoraphilia and Technology Liberation Front.]


Gil said...

It's a big teaser!

Will there be another followup with what should be done?

Tom W. Bell said...

That might come out in the debates to follow at Cato Unbound; I cannot say, yet. My draft book talks about that topic at length, though. See especially Part I, ch. 1, section I.c.3. on "Discouraging Just Enough Infringement." and chapters 6-9.