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Tom W. Bell Copyrights, Property, and Freedom IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Metro St. Coll., Denver CO, Nov. 5, 2011 Introduction I. How (C) Works II.

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Presentation on theme: "Tom W. Bell Copyrights, Property, and Freedom IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Metro St. Coll., Denver CO, Nov. 5, 2011 Introduction I. How (C) Works II."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Tom W. Bell Copyrights, Property, and Freedom IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Metro St. Coll., Denver CO, Nov. 5, 2011 Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion

3 Introduction A.Friends of liberty do not agree about copyright. B.Some regard it as a form of property at least as justified as--and perhaps even more justified than--property in tangibles. C.Others regard it as an unjustified violation of our natural and common law rights in our persons, property, and promises. D.We will discuss that debate--but first, some basics of copyright law and policy. Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 2, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

4 Introduction I.How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 3, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

5 I. Copyright Basics A.Copyright in U.S. law inheres automatically in all fixed expressive works. B.It does so thanks to the U.S. Constitution, Art. I, § 8, cl. 8, and the federal Copyright Act. C.It vests an author with exclusive rights to copy, publicly distribute, publicly display, etc., copies of a work. D.Those who hold copyrights can largely treat them like property, selling or otherwise transferring their exclusive rights in whole or in part. Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 4, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

6 Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 5, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

7 Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 6, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011 D = Demand AR = Average Revenue

8 Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 7, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011 D = Demand AR = Average Revenue AC = Average Cost

9 Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 8, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011 D = Demand AR = Average Revenue

10 Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 9, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011 D = Demand AR = Average Revenue AC = Average Cost

11 Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 10, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

12 Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 11, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011 III. Copyright ’ s Future Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion

13 III. Copyright ’ s Future A.Should copyright continue to grow? That depends in part on whether we understand it as a natural right or statutory privilege. 1.Lockean theory. a.You own yourself; you own your labor; you own the fruits of your labor. b.See Ayn Rand, Lysander Spooner, and Herbert Spencer. c.But see Locke, who described the copyright of his day as a “ manifest... Invasion of the trade, liberty, and property of the subject. ” b.See also, probably, the Founders. Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 12, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

14 III. Copyright ’ s Future A.Natural right or statutory privilege? 2.Naturalist positivism, per Hayek and Barnett. a."[G]roups which happen to have adopted rules conducive to a more effective order of actions will tend to prevail over other groups with a less effective order." F.A. Hayek b. “ [I]f we want a society in which persons can survive and pursue happiness, peace and prosperity, then we should respect the liberal conception of justice—as defined by natural rights—and the rule of law. ” Randy Barnett. 3.Naturally defensible rights. Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 13, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

15 III. Copyright ’ s Future B.Copyright is not like Tangible Property 1. (C) is non-rivalrous in consumption 2.Right to exclude weaker 3. Alienation rights limited 4. Only for limited times. 5.Acquisition: statutory protections necessary. 6.Probably no compensation for takings Conclusion: Defend property sm from copyright. Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 14, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

16 III. Copyright ’ s Future C. The Morality of Unauthorized Copying 1. We naturally frown on unauthorized and misattributed copying. 2. Fraud already bars that, however, and most people's condemnations against unauthorized copying don't go much beyond harmful lying. 3.The virtues of gratitude and generosity suggest that we have an obligation to compensate authors. That falls short of a duty, however; charity does not necessarily entail welfare. Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 15, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

17 III. Copyright ’ s Future D.Outgrowing Copyright Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 16, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

18 Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 17, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011

19 Conclusion A.Copyright gives authors fungible exclusive rights in fixed expressive works. B.Copyright policy aims to correct an (alleged) market failure. C.Whether or not copyright qualifies as a natural right remains subject to debate, but it doubtless conflicts with the natural and common law rights that protect our persons, property, and promises. Introduction I. How (C) Works II. (C) Policy III. (C) ’ s Future Conclusion Tom W. Bell, Copyrights, Property, & Freedom, slide 18, IHS Exploring Liberty Seminar, Nov. 5, 2011


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