Lawrence Lessig

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Intellectual property is a balance between monopolies granted by the state to create an incentive to produce and access, and fair use guaranteed by the balance the law creates to ensure that follow-on innovators and creators can take advantage of the innovations that have been produced. That’s the balance the law has traditionally struck.

…it’s not like every kind of property. There’s nothing that says you have a fair use right to my car, and I guarantee it — don’t touch my car. There’s nothing that says that my car will be turned over to the public after a “limited time.” But the Constitution guarantees that there’s such a thing as fair use to copyrighted materials and guarantees that intellectual property gets turned over to the public after a limited time, and that’s not because the framers were communists, it’s because they understood that intellectual property is different.

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