Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars

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I regard copyright as a set of social relations, and not as a property right. The advantage in regarding copyright as a system of social relationships is that it focuses attention where it belongs: in mediating conflicts within that system, and not, as the copyright as property model does, by positing ownership of a property right in the Blackstonian sense of exercising absolute dominion as the natural state of affairs, and by regarding every effort to regulate for the public interest to be a hostile act that must be ferociously fought against as if it is an existential threat. Conversely, when we regard copyright as a set of social relationships, we can ditch the calls for its abolition: what we should want is not the absence of a copyright law, but rather an effective copyright law.

William Patry is back to blogging, about his book Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars.

[Via Wired.]