The U.S. Constitution allows for copyright and patents in order to promote the free dissemination of ideas and inventions. Today's copyright laws were written for the specific purpose of protecting Disney from losing its exclusive rights on old Mickey Mouse movies; over the past decades, each time the copyrights on films from the early years were about to expire, Congress modified the laws to extend Disney's franchise.
If you take the copyright laws and court decisions seriously, and total up the "infringements" for which you have legal and possibly criminal liability, a professor at the University of Utah shows that an average person — in the course of a year of ordinary activities — may be liable for up to $4.544 billion per year in penalties.
Comments are temporarily disabled while we work on anti-spam measures.
Trackbacks are closed for this story.