I’ve long felt this intuitively to be true, but the weight of opinion and accepted “evidence” has made the idea laughable: Copyright has no social benefit.
So this article in Spiegel Online is fascinating:
(I’ve been in hospital recently, just catching up now on old posts, but I see other outlets such as Wired have finally caught-on to this too – I haven’t read their take on this yet)
It appears to be mostly centered on a contrast between two similarly advanced nations, England and Germany, which had radically different copyright laws at the time.
“In Great Britain, people were dependent on the medieval method of hearsay for the dissemination of this useful, modern knowledge”, whereas “The prospect of a wide readership motivated scientists in particular to publish the results of their research”.
…and so we see a key part of modern research and academia, the concept of publishing your work: born from the *abscence* of Copyright.