Alienation by copyright: Abolishing copyright to spur individual creativity

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Abstract

The strongest existing criticism leveled against copyright law is that it excessively restricts artists' access to material that is integral to their ability to create. This article takes a broader view, arguing that copyright law should be eliminated or significantly scaled back in order to dampen over-consumption of commercial art. Our society has been flooded with commercial art, yet this deluge encourages the vast majority of individuals to consume art, not to create it. The average American consumes 8.54 hours a day of art and news -27.5 years of his or her life. I argue below that every individual needs to create something on his or her own. The actual object or idea is not important: the process of creation is critical -it allows us to resist the ossification of our character. By discouraging the vast majority from creating, copyright -in the words of Arthur Miller -leads people to get sick. My proposal to abolish copyright or substantially reduce its scope would diminish the over-consumption of commercial art and encourage more of the public to begin to create art for themselves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-392
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A.
Volume55
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Law

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