In the book Copyright Unbalanced: From Incentive to Excess (edited by Jerry Brito of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, 2012 ) the impressive list of contributors makes a case for reeling back the twentieth century extensions of copyright. They advocate for the consideration of the original intent of the creators of the constitution as we reinvent copyright law to meet the need of today’s digital world. They argue that this is “NOT” a liberal view, but rather the true conservative and libertarian position.
What does the constitution say about intellectual property? In Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 (the Copyright Clause) the constitution empowers the United States Congress to “..promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”
The book, which notes there is no precedent in “common law” for copyright protection, states that “What follows in this book is not a moral case for or against copyright; it is a pragmatic look at the excesses of the present copyright regime and of proposals to further expand it.” You can read the entire first chapter of the book on website of the Mercatus Center.
On the website you will find a link to purchase which sends you to Amazon.com. You can order a Kindle version or a paperback. The Kindle version which can be read in any web browser if you don’t have a Kindle is just $3.99. If you haven’t tried out the Kindle Cloud Reader it’s possible to download the book so you can read off line.