A case for intellectual property rights
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It has been over 12 years since the passage of the Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), a disputed law that has given copyright holders an extra 20 years of legal protection for their works. The law withstood a constitutional challenge and now individual authors enjoy protection for 70 years after their death while rights of corporate authors endure for 95 years. This piece of legislation is an egregious example of the ability of powerful content providers to capture policy makers, since it is hard to argue that this extension promotes justice or serves the public interest by stimulating creativity. No author is apt to be incentivized by an extra 20 years of protection after his or her death. Nor does it seem a matter of social justice to have rights with this sort of longevity, especially when the legitimate needs of future creators are taken into account. The balance between individual rights and the common good must be carefully calibrated and this law creates a critical imbalance...
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