12/03/2019

The Politicization of Taylor Swift

"The heart of the matter here is copyright. Let us be clear: copyright is not based on a normal contract. It is a state-granted right of monopoly privilege. It is usually presumed to belong to the artist. This is a myth. “Copyright was never primarily about paying artists for their work,” explains QuestionCopyright.org; “far from being designed to support creators, copyright was designed by and for distributors — that is, publishers, which today includes record companies.”

Precisely, and you can see this history at work even in the earliest copyright laws of 16th century England. The crown wanted to suppress the writings of Catholics or Protestants depending on who was in charge. Rather than the outright use of violence to censor, the method was to appoint the London Company of Stationers as the enforcement agents with a monopoly on all printing. There is absolutely no evidence that authors wanted anything like this. And yet even to this day, the myth persists that somehow “intellectual property” was and is about protecting the rights of the creator."