This week on my podcast, I read my final Medium column
The internet’s original sin, about the failure of trying to stretch copyright to cover every problem on the internet.
Copyright is a regulation. It regulates the supply-chain of the entertainment industry. Copyright matters a lot to me, because I’m in the industry.
But unless you’re in the industry, it shouldn’t matter to you.
It’s fine to require a grasp of copyright among people who write, publish and distribute novels — but it’s bananas to require people who read novels to understand copyright.
And yet, here we are.
The test for whether copyright applies to you — for whether you are part of the entertainment industry’s supply chain — is whether you are making or dealing in copies of creative works. This test was once a very good one.
Back when every book had a printing press in its history, every record a record-pressing plant, every film a film-lab, “making or handling copies of creative works” was a pretty good test to determine whether someone was part of the entertainment industry. Even if it turned out they weren’t, the kind of person who has a record-pressing plant can afford to consult an expert to make sure they’re on the right side of the law.