Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


More Jeffrey Tucker Live

link to the live blog here

I'm going to add a few comments of my own about copyright. There are basically four areas covered by copyright.

Entertainment: This is the tail that wags the dog. Not that entertainment isn't important; it is just that only a small subpart of the entertainment industry is covered by copyright. Let's call that the "professional entertainment" industry - popular fiction and non-fiction; movies; tv; professional music. The problem is that this industry is minuscule - smaller than just the IBM Corporation alone. Absent copyright, we'd lose some marginal contributions, and the very rich people at the top would be less rich. However, "professional entertainment" is tiny compared to "entertainment" which would include everything from home videos, to playing games, to talking on the phone with your friends. This industry is an order of magnitude bigger than "professional entertainment." And the main use of copyright in the "professional entertainment" industry is to limit competition from the "amateur entertainment" industry. Whatever we would lose from the professionals (not much, since copyright is de facto gone anyway) would be more than made up for by the amateurs.

Textbooks: Few people are educated by reading textbooks. If fewer text books are written without copyright (let's hope so since they are all the same) then the people who teach classes will have to do a better job; write more lecture notes; or create open source textbook - else we won't collect our pay as teachers. This industry is a sick joke: copyright is used so that teachers who are too lazy to develop their own material and don't pay for the texts themselves will assign bland overpriced texts to their captive students.

Scientific Research: Getting rid of copyright here would just accelerate the move towards open access scientific publications. If not for the fact that commercial publishers own the reputations of existing journals, they would be gone already. Scientific information is spread through the internet in preprints and working papers; publishing plays no role.

Software: This is an important industry. And one that can thrive without copyright as the example of open source/free software shows. Nor would the proprietary sector be driven out of existence - technical means of protection would still be available without copyright.


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Most Recent Comments

Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime It is one of the finest websites I have stumbled upon. It is not only well developed, but has good

Killing people with patents I'm not really commenting the post, but rather asking if this blog is going to make a comeback

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges Finally got around to looking at the comments, sorry for delay... Replying to Stephan: I'm sorry

Let's See: Pallas, Pan, Patents, Persephone, Perses, Poseidon, Prometheus... Seems like a kinda bizarre proposal to me. We just need to abolish the patent system, not replace

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges I'm a bit confused by this--even if "hired to invent" went away, that would just change the default

Do we need a law? @ Alexander Baker: So basically, if I copy parts of 'Titus Andronicus' to a webpage without

Do we need a law? The issue is whether the crime is punished not who punishes it. If somebody robs our house we do

Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous

Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,

What's copywritable? Go fish in court. @ Anonymous: You misunderstood my intent. I was actually trying to point out a huge but basic

Rights Violations Aren't the Only Bads I hear that nonsense from pro-IP people all the

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Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Patent Lawyers Who Don't Toe the Line Should Be Punished! Moreover "the single most destructive force to innovation is patents". We'd like to unite with you

Bonfire of the Missalettes!

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? So, if our patent system was "broken," TFP of durable goods should have dropped. Conversely, since