The Copyright Cage
Jonathan Zittrain, The Copyright Cage:
YES, I HATE THE EFFECTS OF COPYRIGHT ON A DIGITAL REVOLUTION that heralds so much more than the banal ripping off of CD tracks. I hate that creativity is metered and parceled to its last ounce of profit. I hate that our technology is hobbled beyond its paper and other analog counterparts so that it permits us to view but not print, listen but not share, read once but not lend, consume but not create. But I can hate this situation without believing that the idea of copyright is fundamentally flawed. The framers' vision of intellectual property (then known as "monopolies") called for built-in limits to a creator's exclusive rights. A copyright term, for example, would expire even if a work still held commercial value.
IANAL but it seems to me that, apart from a few dates and details, everything in this article applies to Europe as well. Most especially the consequences.