The copyright system has serious design flaws¶
The copyright system that is currently applied world-wide has some serious issues.
It is rather a lottery than a serious rewarding system. As a content producer you may occasionally get famous and rich (if you have a good manager and a big portion of good luck), but most creative people never see a just reward for their efforts.
The legal infrastructure to maintain this system is expensive and causes huge costs for our governments. Regulating the use and sharing of digitally published content has become a Sisyphean task causing absurd laws and requiring hordes of human resources in public administrations. Just think about the TRIPS Agreement, which obliges WTO members to comply with certain standards to protect intellectual property and which continues to live despite serious criticism.
It has become counter-productive for creativity. It causes increased administrative work for publishers and distributors, leading to dependencies that hinder creative work and directly influence production workflows.
It leads to conflicts of interest between individual humans and corporations where the former usually are defeated by the latter because of their different nature. Some examples where copyright is being misused by private corporations, are documented on Wikipedia.
The Case Against Patents by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 3-22, (Winter 2013), commented in Comments by Karsten Gerloff and A question of utility in The Economist (Aug 8th 2015).
“Wir sehen jeden Tag, dass Menschen in ressourcenschwachen Ländern an Covid-19 sterben. Es fehlt an vielem: an klinischem Sauerstoff, Schutzkleidung für das Gesundheitspersonal, Medikamenten, Tests und schützenden Impfstoffen. Die Knappheit dieser Ressourcen wird unter anderem auch durch die Monopolisierung und eine künstliche Einschränkung ihrer Verfügbarkeit durch Patente und andere geistige Eigentumsrechte befördert.” Deutschland muss jetzt einer Patentlockerung für Vakzine zustimmen
Open access: All human knowledge is there—so why can’t everybody access it? by Glyn Moody, June 2016.
The topic appears occasionally in controversial Internet discussions where it usually makes no sense because both wings (recognition and ownership) are considered as a whole:
The current copyright leads to absurd considerations like that of Tiit Aleksejev, chairman of Estonian Writer’s Union, who argues that increasing the rental fee for book in Estonian national libraries from 10 to 30 eurocent would be helpful (Sirp, September 2022, Laenutustasust). That’s nonsense because everybody should pay for the work of writers, not only those who actually read books. The usefulness of a book is quasi unrelated to its popularity. The value of the work of writing books does not depend on how many people actually read the result. There are books that require years of research but are being read only be some experts or will become popular only much later, and there are relatively “useless” but entertaining books that were written by their author as a weekend activity. A good book can increase quality of life in my country because it inspired a few people.