21-year-old essay on copyright just as fresh today

Luís sez: "Barrington Bayley has a *very* interesting article written in the early 1980s about the ethics and the convention of copyright. It's also worth pointing out that Bayley is one of the great unheralded geniuses in the field of literary science fiction."

On the premise that graphic reproduction will eventually go the way of sound reproduction, i.e. it will become easy and cheap and available to all, the same is due to happen to literary copyright. It's a-coming, boys! You'd better get used to it!

…Yes, there is always going to be a living for writers. The consequence of the above is that a book, whether incarnated in ink and paper, laser disk, silicon, gallium arsenide, memory bubbles, or War and Peace encoded in DNA, will cost more than the blank on which it is inscribed, but not so much more that it would be worth your while to borrow a copy and duplicate it. Whatever deal authors and publishers make with one another will have to take cognisance of that. I expect authors will still be able to demand royalties. Whether an author will be able to become stinking rich, as a few now can, I don't know. What does it matter? It isn't necessary to the continuance of civilisation.

Luís adds, "This over twenty years ago."


(Thanks, Luís!)