Sunday, May 20, 2007

Perpetual Copyright? (UPDATED)

Novelist Mark Helprin has an editorial in today's New York Times arguing for infinite copyright. Glenn Reynolds thinks it would be unconstitutional (see here and, for a more in depth treatment of the subject, here). Cory Doctorow thinks the editorial is "silly." And Larry Lessig has set up a wiki page for a collective rebuttal.

UPDATE: Ilya Somin has a detailed post at the Volokh Conspiracy arguing that Helprin's proposal is "deeply flawed." Matthew Yglesias says "unfortunately, [Helprin] doesn't consider any of the various reasons that make this a terrible idea. Is it, for example, really such a bad thing that community theaters and schools all throughout the country (and, indeed, the world) can put on productions of Shakespeare's plays without paying stiff licensing fees?" Justin Levine (also thinking specifically of Shakespeare) says "Helprin's idea is not merely wrong - it would be utterly destructive to any semblance of artistic culture."

I'll let you know if I find anyone who likes the idea.