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Re: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be uniform?

True enough. I stand corrected. But I think Macauley and I were using 
alternate definitons. I used tax as in "Charge against a citizen's person 
or property or activity for the support of government". I think Macauley 
used it to include the definition "make onerous and rigorous demands 
on"... Rereading those passages, his use of the word "tax" was rather 

"Peter D. Junger" <junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu>
Sent by: owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
11/08/01 11:11 AM
Please respond to dvd-discuss

        To:     dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
        Subject:        Re: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be uniform?

microlenz@earthlink.net writes:

: Basing it upon income is not a very equitable solution. 
: Furthermore, is copyright a TAX? That's exactly what basing it 
: upon profit or income is. I don't think one should debase the notion 
: of copyright by making it one other way for the government to 
: squeeze money out of citizens without even giving them the ability 
: to file an income tax return on. Furthermore, the purpose is to 
: promote not to generate income.(OH that's great that it has done 
: so nicely but that is secondary). The purpose of copyright is to 
: promote progress equally. If the other forces change the equality, 
: change the forces.

There is good authority that copyright in its traditional form is a tax:

   In 1841, for example,  in  a  House  of Commons debate over the 
extension of copyright from 
   28 to 60 years, the Irish peer  Lord  Thomas  Babbington  Macauley 
called  copyright  "a 
   private tax on the innocent pleasure of reading" and "a tax on readers 
for the purpose of 
   giving a bounty to writers" that should not be allowed to  last  a  day 
 longer  than 
   necessary for the purpose of remunerating authors enough to keep them 
in business.

Quoted from Wendy M. Grossman, Downloading as a Crime, in Scientific 
<URL: http://www.sciam.com/1998/0398issue/0398cyber.html>.

Peter D. Junger--Case Western Reserve University Law School--Cleveland, OH
 EMAIL: junger@samsara.law.cwru.edu    URL:  http://samsara.law.cwru.edu 
        NOTE: junger@pdj2-ra.f-remote.cwru.edu no longer exists