Copyright law is not intended to benefit the general public but is intended to benefit the creator of intellectual property. It is simply property rights.The idea of giving the creator certain rights is to encourage them to produce more artistic works. This in turn benefits the public. The law was not set up primarily for corporations to prevent access to works but to primarily to encourage proliferation of art. This was seen as of benefit to the community as a whole and it is a subtle yet very important distinction. Here's an article by TMFOak which is a useful starting point in any exploration of the purpose of intellectual property:http://www.fool.com/news/foth/2000/foth000814.htm
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