San Francisco, California

The world’s copyright system is broken

I adore this video all about the past, present, and future of copyright by Tom Scott. He looks at how our legal system no longer makes any sense, as today we don’t need a big publishing company to distribute our work to millions of people; our existing laws were built for giant companies and lawyers instead.

My favorite bit is towards the end when Tom argues that copyright should last no longer than fifty years (which I think is pretty dang reasonable to be honest):

If you invent something that literally changes the world then great, you get 20 years to make all the money you can. And after that you will be out-competed by people who can do it better and cheaper. But write a song and you get until you’re dead, and your descendants get another 70 years—and that is ridiculous.

Meanwhile, all the orphaned works, the obscure things where no-one can track down the copyright holder any more to ask for a license...well, they can’t be archived. They can’t be copied. They often can’t be preserved at all.

Also? Damn I love the way that Tom narrates his story and makes his arguments. His long rambling walks across London are ~extremely~ good.