Originally Posted by Jozawun
This, of course, makes irrelevant the most prominent of the justifications for copyright's restrictions on the dissemination of knowledge; namely that it promotes the creation of new works (and hence enhances the store of human knowledge) by giving authors the profit from them.
The right to not publish a work is more of a side-effect (possibly an important one) of copyright. And I suppose you can use copyright to defend your journal, but there are other laws that help protect privacy.
Your point I think is the key one. Copyright is
a time-limited monopoly on a work as enticement to publish and make it available to read. The monopoly allows the author to profit from the work so that they can do two things:
1) Get rewarded for the work done.
2) Possibly make a career out of fields that produce work like this (books, art, software, etc).
The catch is that the work needs to enrich the public domain at some point. And I think this is where copyright has failed to deliver on the original promise. The monopoly is not very time-limited anymore, and if you "hit it big", residuals in some industries are big enough to set you up for life as long as you can keep profiting off of it.
And Giggleton's point about natural laws may be somewhat valid, but it is difficult to reconcile a capitalist economy with "everything creative is public domain". The end result is that you actually disincentive creation of works if the idea that anything I create is automatically the public's the moment I publish it. Mostly because I'm trading the opportunity cost of things such as home and shelter doing work that I can pull an income from, versus something where I may only ever get paid for the first copy, and depends completely on how honor-bound people are to compensating me for the effort it took to create that work. Copyright's intent is to try to compromise between a money economy and enriching the society through works.