A Consensus on "Intellectual Property"?
As some know, there is a small chance I may run for US Congress in 2010 due to my dissatisfaction with how much of an issue "intellectual property" (mostly copyrights and patents) is in national politics.
Before I put forth my ideas, I'd like you at SC to put forth what you have to say on the matter. Here are some questions you may want to consider:
1) Do you believe that copyright is a natural right or part of a social contract?
2) Do you believe that the current copyright term is about right*?
3) Do you believe the current civil remedies for violating someone's copyright are about right**?
4) Do you believe that the Constitution allows for Congress to retroactively extend the term of copyrights that have already been granted***?
I look forward to your thoughts.
*The current term is the life of the author + 70 years. For corporations, the term is 125 years after creation or 95 years after publication (whichever is earlier).
**Current civil remedies are $750 - $30,000 per work infringed; for willful infringement the maximum is raised to $150,000; for infringement that occurs where the infringer had no reason to believe the work infringed was copyrighted the minimum is lowered to $200.
***The Constitution states:
Congress has the power ... To 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;