No Copyright Exceptions
By Thomas A. Bowden (New York Times, October 28, 2008)
Re “Copyright and Politics Don’t Mix” (column, Oct. 21):
Lawrence Lessig’s proposal for copyright reform commits the same error as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. Both take for granted that lawmakers should be carving up speech into political, commercial, artistic, and other categories, and then offering different legal protection according to how society values the output.
But speech is speech, and the individual speaks by right, not permission. Just as political speech deserves full First Amendment protection, it deserves full copyright protection as well. Media outlets that profit from disseminating political statements should have ready access to procedures for enforcing their property rights against YouTube or other infringers. That’s not censorship; that’s justice.