Copyright Law Is Broken Because We Say "Copy" When We Mean "Enjoy"

in #blog4 years ago (edited)

Copyright law was never meant to apply to how ordinary people enjoy creative works. It was never really even about ensuring authors get paid. It was meant to settle disputes between people who make the mass-market copies we buy and ensure they couldn't cheat on each other. Those people were (and are) wealthy and operating on huge scales, so the penalties used to keep them in place are massive.

But then came digital works. By a linguistic accident, we use the word "copy" to describe parts of the process used each time we "open" a digital book or "play" digital music. Because of that, we are forever exposed to copyright laws that were never meant for us. As a result, using works we have paid for requires a license to mitigate the copyright.

That need for a license is the source of many ills. It allows the company selling to us to control how we enjoy the work we paid for, as a matter of license terms, and also allows them to lock us in.

So how about if we stopped saying "copy" when we mean "read" or "listen" or "look"?

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Missing The Point