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February 28, 2005
Copyright As the Engine of Censorship
Just in time for the latest version of the P2P = Porn argument, Ernie Miller returns to Importance Of... with a nice post on what copyright law is supposed to do:
In the copyright and First Amendment case Harper & Row, the Supreme Court famously called copyright law "the engine of free expression." Indeed, properly limited, copyright can be an engine of free expression. However, when not properly limited, copyright can, instead of promoting free expression, become an engine of censorship.
Many have argued this point, but seldom to you see such blatant and concrete examples of this phenomenon as when the Walt Disney Company aligns itself with would be censors of "dirty bits" in order to promote expanded copyright law. [...]
Is it a coincidence that the copyright industry (which usually celebrates the First Amendment) seeks to get in bed with censors? I think not.
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