Subject: Re: Re[5]: All these licenses and business models
From: David Johnson <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jan 2002 19:03:56 -0800

On Friday 18 January 2002 08:16 am, DeBug wrote:

> Note: when government says copyrights help to promote usefull arts it
> should answer how much ? The total yearly amount of money for these
> purposes should be defined and the artists should compete on this
> amount and not on the infinite one.

This misses the whole point. Copyright wasn't meant to be a wealth 
distribution system, but an incentive for creation. The useful arts are 
promoted by allowing the artists to release works which they still have some 
control over for some period of time. Without copyrights the incentive to 
keep these works secret, or licensed out through NDAs would be greater.

One example mentioned to be last week was that of maps, and that the issue of 
accurate cartographic maps may have been the key impetus for copyright. In 
centuries past creating accurate maps was very hard work. The map makers 
didn't want to give away their maps, they wanted to profit off of them. 
Without copyright, someone could buy a map and them create copies to sell at 
a much cheaper price. Once you have an accurate map you no longer need 
cartographers, but drawers. The cartographers solution was to license the 
maps to the ship pilots. The result was very high priced maps and much 
duplication in the field of cartography.

Under copyright, a cartographer can simply sell the map, assured that the law 
would prevent (or severly limit) indiscriminant copying. This benefited the 
public who now had greater access to maps. It benefited the pilots who now 
had cheaper maps. And it benefited the cartographers who now had a wider 
market. All without taxation or elaborate accounting schemes.

David Johnson
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