The Economist Debates Copyright

The Economist is conducting a weeklong debate on copyright with the question for discussion "This house believes that existing copyight laws do more harm than good."


  1. Crumb Tack says:

    The proposer lost
    The statement was not defended. Professor Fisher provided arguments on why certain copyright reforms (shorter terms, reduced inclusiveness, etc) would be beneficial. Those arguments are sound. But to say ‘less restrictive copyright would be better than what we have now’ is very different from saying ‘abolished copyright would be better than what we have now’. Since he argued the first point and didn’t even make an attempt at the second, he can’t be taken to have won this.

  2. The current copyright system stifles innovation. Professor Fisher in point 8 points out that copyright can provide an emotional bond between the work and the artist. I have no idea what he’s basing this on. Most artists don’t own the copyrights on their works, it’s the publishers and distributors that take the majority of that bond out of the artists hands on contract. I know of no artist that feels an emotional bond that copyright is supposed put on their works according to Professor Fisher. More or less the scense many artists are feeling, are ripped off by publishers when they think of copyright. It would be different if more artists killed the middle man, and went on their own completely…only then could I see an emotional bond forming, and that’s not where the artistic community is right now, nor will it be in the future.