If you haven’t read any of the items in my previously posted “Copyright/Intellectual Property (IP) Reading List” (and I assume you haven’t), then please read this excellent essay by Lydia Pallas Loren titled “The Purpose of Copyright Law.”  Ms. Loren, an Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, does a superb job of providing a succinct overview of US copyright law — from a brief history to our current (& sad) situation today.  She  astutely explains “... the misunderstanding held by many who believe that the primary purpose of copyright law is to protect authors against those who would pilfer the author’s work.

Copyright is simply a government-granted monopoly to (from the Constitution) “…promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

Well… when first enacted in the U.S., “limited times” meant 14 years, renewable only once for an additional 14 years.  As Ms. Loren notes, “…we must all realize that too broad a monopoly will impede rather than promote that progress on which this country was founded.

While Ms. Loren doesn’t advocate eliminating copyright protection, as far as I’m concerned — copyright is already dead & buried.  Congress, at the whim of the content owning industries, has so distorted the meaning of “limited times” and copyright law in general (not to mention the 1997 No Electronic Theft Act or 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act) that as far as I’m concerned, US copyright law as it exists today has been rendered completely invalid.

Copyright law?  What copyright law?  Congress has destroyed it!