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It's been 300 years since the world’s first copyright law was passed by the English Parliament as ‘An Act for the Encouragement of Learning’. The British Council gathered ideas about copyright from renown thinkers of our time and posted them here.
I like Cory Doctorow's defense of our right to copy.
"We are that which copies. Three or four billion years ago, by some process that we don't understand, molecules began to copy themselves. We are the distant descendants of those early copyists - copying is in our genes. We have a word for things that don't copy: 'dead'."
A must see presentation on this topic from 2002 is Lawrence Lessig's free culture.