On government and copyright

Another day, another misguided view on intellectual property. Via Tim Lee at Ars Technica, here’s a quote from a representative from Ron+Rand Paul’s Campaign for Liberty:

“We think the public domain is a terrific part of the Internet,” he told us. Rather, he said, the group was worried that “Internet collectivists” would use the phrase “public domain” as “code for getting the government more involved” in copyright issues.

The group is pushing back against the idea that, “what is considered to be in the public domain should be greatly expanded.”

First, copyright exists because of government, full stop. There is no copyright infringement in the state of nature. Second, to expand what is considered in the public domain means lessening the interference of government, by shortening copyright terms.

This would seem to be an area where libertarians and liberals could agree (in fact, it mostly is). It’s terribly depressing to see the Paul’s finding a way to oppose this.

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