Infintite Copyright Term

In this NY Times article Mark Helprin, a rights holder, argues that copyrights, like rights in real and personal property, should last forever. In response, Mike Masnick at Techdirt points out that Intellectual Property isn’t the same as real property, but rather it is an incentive given to authors to produce what would otherwise be an under-produced public good. This is a clear example of a clash between two different IP ideologies: IP maximalists that see IP laws as vehicle to maximize returns to current rights holders and IP pragmatists that seek to maximize social welfare by achieving a balance between author incentives and public use.

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