So That’s Why the Corporations Are Buying Up Copyrights

“Monopolists maximize profits by restricting supply, elementary economics teaches us, and a simple way to restrict supply of artistic work is to make sure that not too many equivalent western movies, adventure novels, comic novels, symphonic pieces, and so on, are available for purchase at any given point in time. … The cheap paperback version of a sixty-year-old spy story would, to some degree, reduce demand for the expensive hardback version of a brand-new spy story. . . . Conclusion: the old spy story will remain out of print. To put it bluntly, after kidnapping, with the help of Congress and the Supreme Court, all the artistic creations of the past fifty years, the monopolistic kidnappers may well set the ransom too high for us, the public, to get them released. Talk about promoting the progress of science and the useful arts!”

– Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine, Against Intellectual Monopoly (Cambridge University Press), pp. 104, 105.

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