said by Joey1973 :
Since they've abused it so badly, I say that we--the people--should abolish 'copyright' entirely. After all, it's not like these people really "created" anything--every author of something was raised, educated, trained, and inspired by others; everything they've ever done is attributable to someone else.
Oh good God... Really? Isn't this the same crap that Obama spouted about business owners? "You didn't do it on your own, and shouldn't be able to take credit for it."
How about we just take a reasonable approach instead? Copyright on music, movies, and software lasts for 20 years from the date of creation. After that the owners of the works may still control distribution and reverse engineering, but there are no financial penalties associated with ignoring their wishes. And there are never any criminal penalties associated with copyright infringement, unless it is associated with other criminal enterprises (counterfeiting, etc.).
Reverse engineering of works would be allowed for educational and personal use purposes, but not for business (aka "for profit") purposes.
Penalties are determined by circumstances, including believed intent, and also actual damages. A person downloading a song would be forced to buy that song at a maximum of three times current market value. (Example: $0.99 per song x 3 = $2.97 per song.) A business who violates copyright in the same manner would face similar, but more substantial, fines that factor in any profit they made from their infringement in damages. (Example: A business is found to have distributed 1,000 copies of Batman without permission, violating copyright, for a profit of $15,000. The copyright holder would have the right to ask for treble damages for the original purchase price of the movie plus treble damages using the profit made from the violation as a base. In this event it would be $45,060, if the movie sold in the stores for $20.)