As a writer, I am keenly interested in protecting my ownership rights for my work. It is no small irony that pretty much everything I’ve written in the past several years is freely available on various websites, easily copied by anyone who chooses to do so. And, yes, I have been plagiarized (rather crudely, if you want my opinion). I thank fair use every day for my personal success. Fair use extends the discussion beyond my limited corner of the universe.
Copyright is a Constitutionally-protected right(Article I, Section 8, Clause 8). This means, of course, that the government is entrusted with the responsibility to balance the rights of the content owner with the rights of the public. The fact that copyrights are to be protected for a “limited time” indicates that this balance was considered long before Mickey Mouse edged up to entering the public domain. I still shake my head at the idea that the company that made so much money off the public domain refuses to give back to that community.
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