The Art of the Steal: Copyright in Retreat

The copyright wars have flared up anew. In the 1990s, rights owners seemed ascendant. Intellectual property was folded into the international trade system, with strict global enforcement against piracy. Terms were extended yet again—now generally well over a century long. Rights owners won new legal and technological protections.

But in retrospect, this was the last gasp of copyright’s old regime.

Digital technologies, which then were only just taking off, have meanwhile undercut whatever certainty owners thought they had won.  However draconian the sentences imposed on teenage downloaders, however shrill Hollywood’s anti-piracy trailers, however blustery Gene Simmons’s defense of Kiss’s royalties, the world has changed.

Read the full story: Newsweek