Some nicely written thoughts on copyright over at publicknowledge
On why we have copyright and why it doesn’t last in perpetuity:
The concept of "returning" works to the public suggests that no new idea is truly new, that it is only built from some previous societal knowledge. Perhaps this return concept can be best understood through the words of Sir Isaac Newton, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." The Constitution specifies, "limited times" to ensure that artists to not rest on their laurels but continue to innovate.
Love the quote from Sir Isaac–no surprise that scientists are leading the push for the timely return of knowledge to the commons.
Public knowledge also provides link to some of the limits on copyright:
The record industry makes no bones about trying to keep the following out of the public’s awareness. As the EFF article points out
For instance, the RIAA tells kids, "Never copy someone else's creative work without permission from the copyright holder"--omitting the important right to make creative fair use of existing content.
sigh… OK I’ll stop with the ranting now, it’s just every time i get my EFF newsletter I totally loose my rag.