New book makes free-market case for copyright reform

by on December 3, 2012 · 4 comments

After almost a year in the making, I’m happy to announce today that the new book I’ve edited, Copyright Unbalanced: From Incentive to Excess is now available. The book is not a moral case for or against copyright; it is a pragmatic look at the excesses of the present copyright regime from a free-market, limited government perspective.

Given the recent debate sparked by the retracted RSC copyright memo, it’s important that we make the case that respect for property rights, including intellectual property, is not incompatible with criticism of the sometimes cronyist copyright system that we have today. Conservatives and libertarians, who are naturally suspicious of big government, should be skeptical of our ever-expanding copyright system. They should also be skeptical of the recent trend toward criminal prosecution of even minor copyright infringements, of the growing use of civil asset forfeiture in copyright enforcement, and of attempts to regulate the Internet and electronics in the name of piracy eradication. These are the issues Copyright Unbalanced addresses.

Contributors include yours truly, Reihan Salam, Patrick Ruffini, David G. Post, Tim Lee, Christina Mulligan, Eli Dourado and Tom W. Bell. It’s an amazing line-up of thoughtful essays. The book is available at, although the Kindle ebook version will be out in a couple of days. There is also a book website where you can learn more about the book and read the first chapter, “Why Conservatives and Libertarians Should Be Skeptical of Congress’s Copyright Regime.” And here is a wonderful write-up of our book for Bloomberg by Virginia Postrel.

Also, I will be speaking at several copyright events in the next two weeks. These are all open to the public and I hope you will be able to attend.

A special thanks goes out to the contributors, who made the book possible, and to the staff of the Mercatus Center who made it a reality. The moment is ripe for copyright reform and for conservatives and libertarians to take leadership on the issue. I hope we can make a constructive contribution to that effort.

Previous post:

Next post: