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Re: [dvd-discuss] Thoughts on Posner and Landes (was Re: Eldred v.Ashcroft Accepted ...)

On Thu, 21 Feb 2002, Arnold G. Reinhold wrote:

> At 5:47 PM -0500 2/20/02, Scott A Crosby wrote:

> The problem with the math in Posner and Landes is not that there are
> errors, but that it doesn't say anything quantitative at all.  The

Thats what I noticed.

> 3.  Posner and Landes is weak on the question of what would happen if
> there were no copyright protection. I am not suggesting that there
> should be none, but an understanding of what such a world would be
> like is vital for Posner and Landes' argument to hold. This is the
> analog of the "no exercise is bad for you" datum. If a copyright-free
> world works, then the case that there is some optimal level of
> copyright has to be proven by a different argument. One must show the
> the social benefit (W in Posner and Landes' notation) is greater with
> copyright than without it.

In fact, they have an assumption that the marginal costs per work for the
copier are *greater* than for the origional author. (Because otherwise,
the function devolves into *no* works of authorship being created, and
that is uninteresting to analyze.)

This of course ignores other reasons to create an artistic work.

Excellent point about how computers change the entire equation. They make
copying a little easier, but they also make authorship *lightyears*