Copyright Unbalanced: From Incentive to Excess
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The Constitution gives Congress the power to establish copyright “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” This requires Congress to engage in a delicate balancing act, giving authors enough protection that they will be motivated to create expressive works, but not so much that it hampers innovation and public access to information. Yet over the past half-century Congress has routinely shifted the balance in only one direction—away from access and freedom and toward greater privileges for organized special interests.
Conservatives and libertarians, who are naturally suspicious of big government, should be skeptical of an ever-expanding copyright system. They should also be skeptical of the recent trend toward criminal prosecution of even minor copyright