Siva Vaidhyanathan: Copyright as Cudgel
We make a grave mistake when we choose to engage in discussions of copyright in terms of "property." Copyright is not about "property" as commonly understood. It is a specific state-granted monopoly issued for particular policy reasons. While, technically, it describes real property as well, it also describes a more fundamental public good that precedes specific policy choices the state may make about the regulation and dispensation of property. But we can't win an argument as long as those who hold inordinate interest in copyright maximization can cry "theft" at any mention of fair use or users' rights. You can't argue for theft.
Read the whole thing. It's very good.