What’s so special about copying?

Julian Sanchez:

… there’s nothing morally special about copying. It’s a method we regulated to solve an incentive problem, because given the available technology in 1909—when statutes first sought to control “copying” rather than “publication” and “sale”—that was the most efficient point at which to regulate in order to solve that problem. If technology had evolved in order to make mass loaning, rather than copying, instantaneous and frictionless and easy, the underlying problem wouldn’t be any different. Any moral baggage “copying” has picked up is a pure artifact of the chance fact that “copying” is what it seemed to make sense to restrict given early 20th century tech.

Read the whole thing here.

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