Date of this Version
[Extract] A thought-provoking article by Stewart Alsop appeared in FORTUNE.com magazine in April - see "Copyright Protection is for Dinosaurs" at http://cgi.pathfinder.com/fortune/technology/alsop/l999/04/26/index.html
He notes that the idea behind intellectual property is that it protects a monopoly to exploit certain rights so that people will be encouraged to engage in creative intellectual effort. In the case of copyright, this is based on the assumption that it is relatively easy to prevent copying. He points out that in the digital era this is no longer true. And contrary to expectations, he suggests that in many instances the ease of copying digital material has benefited intellectual effort. He cites the example of software companies in the early years who soon found that the more watertight their copy protection scheme the less popular their software was in the long run.