Who Should Hold Copyright?

Copyright is granted automatically to the creator of the work. When someone writes a story or paints a picture, they are immediately vested with the copyright to it. No one else can make copies of it without their permission. They are granted this right by the state, for a limited time, to encourage their efforts. It’s a versatile right. The creator can use it to grant limited copying privileges to specified persons. They can sell it, transfer it or pass it on to their heirs, much like real property.

So, who other than the creator should be able to hold this right? In a regime where the copyright outlives the creator, such as we have in most of the world now, they should certainly be able to pass it on to family and heirs. Since assigning (selling) it is legal, they should be able to sell it to any person they want. But what about non-human persons, such as corporations? Should copyright, which is meant to encourage creativity, be held by non-humans, even if they create nothing original?

What do you think?

rjb

About arjaybe

Jim has fought forest fires and controlled traffic in the air and on the sea. Now he writes stories.

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