Protection!

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I have been thinking a lot as of late about protection for musicians, writers and inventors.

The core question is this: does it make sense in this age for society to protect their property to the extent currently afforded them? For inventors it’s 17 years, for writers and musicians it’s their lifetime plus 100 years.

These government enforced boundaries were originally implemented to encourage creators to invest their energies by ensuring all future rewards would be protected so they could profit from their efforts. Even our founding fathers felt these protections were necessary to build a strong society and wrote them into our constitution.

While this may have made sense in the 1700’s does it still make sense in an age where sharing is becoming the norm and the spread of shared ideas and media is instant and worldwide?

Don’t you think just about everyone has owned a copy of a Beatles song or Stairway to heaven even though they probably didn’t purchase them? I consider these public domain – despite the fact they are protected to make sure every last penny goes to the owner’s of the material.

The problem with the current system is it restricts growth and limits technological change. It’s an old model that no longer works.

Tomorrow a few more thoughts.