Hoisted from comments: Copyright, the Google Settlement and torching the second library of Alexandria

One of the privileges of access to what we cool kids call the “back end” of Troppo is that when I write a long, long comment, in an old thread that has taken a new direction, I can make it the start of a new thread. As I’m doing here. Note that the comment originally arose from disagreeing with John Walker who supported the scuttling of Google Book Settlement. If you’re interested in that and don’t know of it, it’s fascinating and written up here.

As ever, you know the rules. Please ensure all comments are brief, well expressed and in agreement (or strong agreement) with my post. This is Troppo, AKA ClubPony where disagreement is quietly frowned upon and, if persisted with, can lead to the withdrawal of access to the cucumber sandwiches.

 

It’s true I don’t understand the Google Book Settlement in detail. So all my comments should be understood in that context. Perhaps if I took a month out of my life to understand it, and the options fully, I’d change my mind. Then again only professionals in the area – like Pamela Samuelson whom I met on an occasion and thought was on the side of the angels (of more openness) – can aspire to that without disrupting their lives. So I’m prepared to chance my arm, as we all do even when we think we know all there is to know.

I’m afraid I’m incensed by the pettifogging self-indulgence, self-righteous, small-mindedness, and greed for tiny morsels of financial gain of the copyright crowd.

The story from my point of view is that Larry and Sergey spent $400 mil of Google’s money with, it seems, not a great deal of thought of Google’s financial gain, in pursuit of a dream. Now the dream was a silicon valley rich boy’s dream. But it’s the same dream as Thomas Jefferson’s – to liberate the world’s knowledge for the betterment of the species and the greater glory of the creation and the creator if there is one.

I don’t even know precisely that vision in detail, but it seems to me that at that stage Google had no restrictive intent whatever. Their project was available to anyone else to copy – in whole or in part. Moreover, consistent with the ‘fair use’ legal doctrine they were relying on, they would have honoured anyone’s right to prevent it from distributing their copyright. They would have distributed orphan works, quite possibly for nothing. They may well have desisted from monetisation given their established practice of doing the same in many other areas.

But the immense and multifarious structures of commercial society – and perhaps Larry and Sergey’s desire for further riches – would have pushed them towards further monetisation. And company law would have placed that duty on Larry and Sergey as fiduciaries of their shareholders. Then another arm of commercial society reached out. Copyright owners and authors (whose involvement at least in this country is virtually always assiduously managed by corporate copyright interests and their well funded comms teams).

They stood to lose nothing from what I can make out, but they saw the opportunity to make some small bucks out of this from copyright royalties on things that had long disappeared from print. That this involved torching the possibility of a free and open database of all the books written in former centuries? Well you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. These are rights that would not have existed except for copyright owners successful campaigns over the decades to extend their copyright from 14 years at the beginning of the eighteenth century to lifetime plus decades more by the late twentieth century – a term that is unjustified by the justifications usually put forward for copyright – there is no ‘incentive to create’ from extending copyright well beyond the death of the author.

Because the corporate copyright lobby went after all this the result was a much more difficult set of choices in which a class action in effect made law for the country or the whole idea went back into storage indefinitely. That was a very unfortunate development. As I said at the outset it’s true I don’t know all the detail of the agreement. Nor do I expect I’d like it all. Nor am I naïve about Google’s motives or conduct – at least after the copyright lobby came after it. But at least from what I know it would have been much better to proceed with than the alternative which is bleak.

As for concern about usurping Congress’s right, one feature of the American system is that courts have had a larger role in such law making, not least in making fundamental law as they have in great constitutinal cases like Roe v Wade and Brown v Board of Education. Ancient Athenian courts too often sat in judgement on acts of the ‘legislature’ ie the Ekklesia.

So while I have some sympathy for the argument that it was Congress’s job, we all knew Congress was and is unlikely to do its job and we can at least think of this as in the spirit of Montesquieu and the founding fathers who quite liked the idea of jurisdictions overlapping and competing with each other to some extent. The other point to make is that if it really is Congress’s job, it can legislate and remake the rules after the event. (And because the money amounts are not large if compensation were involved it probably wouldn’t be a large consideration – even for a cash strapped government.)

I’d add in that context that I’m deeply uninterested in monetary measurements of the importance of this. I see it largely as a cultural, and indeed, at the risk of sounding grandiose, a spiritual matter. (Of course if you’re paying attention, you’ll know I’m cheating. If the numbers were large I’d spin that my way too ;) So let me scale it back and say that the value of this measured by money has never been a big consideration for me.)

Meanwhile CAL and it’s Chairman Kim Williams are out in force in today’s press defending, in their usual mendacious way, their outrageous purloining of $15 million from Australia’s schools, libraries and universities not to pay authors or copyright holders as is its mission, but to run political campaigns to keep up the protection racket it has built for itself out of the thicket of nonsensical rights ‘fair dealing’ as opposed to ‘fair use’ provides it.

This entry was posted in Cultural Critique, Economics and public policy, Geeky Musings, Intellectual Monopoly Privileges, Intellectual Property, IT and Internet, Political theory. Bookmark the permalink.
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John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago

Nicholas
No offense but your grasp of what actually happened and what the settlement actually would have done is not that good.

At the time i did spend a lot of time reading the submissions and a lot of expert commentary about the GBS ( mark 1 and mark 2). Regardless of ‘intentions’ the GBS was as real world ‘policy’ deeply flawed, a truly bad deal.

Below is the intro to Pamela Samuelson’s ( and around 65 other eminent academics) submission against the GBS:

The Google Book Search (GBS) initiative envisioned in the PASA is not a library.
It is instead a complex and large-scale commercial enterprise in which
Google and Google alone will obtain a license to sell millions of books for decades to come. If the PASA is approved, millions of rights holders will be forced to join the Book Rights Registry (BRR)or the Google Partner Program to exercise any control over Google’s use of their books. The litigants who spent two and a half years negotiating the initial Proposed Settlement Agreement (PSA) and now the PASA have interests and preferences that dramatically diverge from those of many rights holders who were not at the negotiating table, including academic authors. It is thus
unsurprising that hundreds of authors and other rights holders have objected to the settlement and even more, we believe, have opted out.
Nor is it surprising that several public interest organizations have expressed opposition to the settlement,for there were no consumer or public interest advocates
at the negotiating table either. Because of this, the PASAis fundamentally tainted.

This is from James Grimmelmann’s submission , at the time James was Associate Professor of Law New York Law School and attended most of the hearings. He, during the (lengthy proceedings) changed from a support of the GBS project to a severe critic.
:

But this Court is not Congress, and shoehorning legislation into the shape of a class action settlement mutilates it. An adversarial litigation process and secretive settlement negotiations are the antithesis of participatory democracy. Here, they have produced drafting errors, disregarded the interests of nonparties, and undermined the actual political process.
Instead of balanced copyright legislation, the Amended Settlement Agreement is the equivalent of a private bill for Google’s benefit but an actual private bill would at least be subject to the normal constraints of Congressional negotiation and oversight.

The Amended Settlement Agreement also sets a dangerous precedent for other class actions. By releasing Google from liability for its future conduct, the Amended Settlement Agreement pushes past Rule 23, jurisdictional, and justiciability limits on the use of class actions. These limits prevent improvidently overreaching settlements, ensure that class members and courts can predict the consequences of settlements, and keep class action law tethered to the fair resolution of real controversies.
The settlement of future claims based in future conduct is a Pandora’s box. In cases with fewer objectors and less judicial scrutiny, it will lead to a new breed of abusive class action settlements that impose fresh and ongoing harms on class members. This Court should not open the box.

BTW The usual ‘copyright societies ‘ hardly figure in the list of submissions against ( or for) the settlement. CAl for example only noticed the whole-shebang about 8 weeks before the opt-out deadline.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

The view of many was that it was more like a good looking package that contained a set of instructions that had a very suspicious feel to them.

I don’t know wether Congress could act against a contract such as GBS ( guess they could ?) .
However as you note the odds of Congress acting against the interests of a even bigger Google are , small.

There were so many serious flaws in the GBS and the process that lead up to it that it is , I think, simply impossible to say which ones were ‘the fatal flaw’.

I started to follow he GBS because it :
Involved compulsory collective licensing on a massive global scale.( CAl would be a grain of sand in comparison to the registry they proposed to set up .)
And
Because the GBS as a proposition ,was the best real world example
of ‘ Gödelian’paradox(s) that I have ever seen. Hofstader ,GEB ,as you know is a long term interest of mine.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Nicholas
James Grimmelman in an essay summing the GBS ‘story ‘ termed the GBS the “CLASSCOPYTRUSTLIPHANT”.

The GBS was a complex hybrid built out of of ,processes-procedures etc ,drawn from several , normally quite seperate, ‘kinds’ of legal areas , areas that have different ( sometimes quite opposing) basic assumptions. The result was ‘statements that are in themselves true , but are also mutually exclusive’.

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

A better approach to all of this might be to separate the components ( for example ‘orphans’ ) to the point where they can be reasonably understood and deal with them one at a time.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Justice Chins reasons for disallowing are worth reading in full http://www.thepublicindex.org/filings/ag-v-google/opinion-rejecting-the-amended-settlement
( he writes well it’s not jargony )
For example:

“Google did not scan the books to make them available for purchase, and, indeed, Google would have no colorable defense to a claim of infringement based on the unauthorized copying and selling or other exploitation of entire copyrighted books.11 Yet, the ASA would grant Google the right to sell full access to copyrighted works that it otherwise would have no right to exploit.12 The ASA would grant Google control over the digital commercialization of millions of books, including orphan books and other unclaimed works.13 And it would do so even though Google engaged in wholesale, blatant copying, without first obtaining copyright permissions. While its competitors went through the “painstaking” and “costly” process of obtaining permissions before scanning copyrighted books, “Google by comparison took a shortcut by copying anything and everything regardless of copyright status.” (Hr’g Tr. 43 (Thomas Rubin, counsel for Microsoft)). As one objector put it: “Google pursued its copyright project in calculated disregard of authors’ rights. Its business plan was: ‘So, sue me.’” (Objection of Robert M. Kunstadt to Proposed Settlement 3, ECF No. 74).14

Applying Firefighters, I conclude that the released claims would not come within “the general scope of the case made by the pleadings.” 478 U.S. at 525.15 Applying Wal-Mart Stores, I conclude that the released conduct would not arise out of the “identical factual predicate” as the conduct that is the subject of the settled claims. 396 F.3d at 107 (citation omitted).”

ChrisB
4 years ago

What I haven’t been able to work out is why the scheme didn’t go ahead with the partial, but still valuable, project of putting online that still enormous amount of material that was clearly pre-copyright – stuff from the 1800s, say. Google Books won’t put up (say) the works of Porson, just in case he comes after them.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  ChrisB

That’s a good question .
Part of the answer might be that checking each title for, is it out of copyright? is hard to automate, another
part of the answer might be that Googles scans were of uneven quality and its data base of titles contained too many errors : duplications, missspellings of titles and authors names etc – OCR is not that reliable and proof readers cost.

derrida derider
derrida derider
4 years ago
Reply to  John R Walker

Having duly claimed my “strong agreement” with Nicholas (as he states, the necessary qualifying condition for a licence to comment at Club Troppo), John’s answer here still doesn’t explain why they didn’t just appropriate Project Gutenberg’s products. They’re free to copy and use and have already been proofread by volunteers.

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the reason is that there is no money in that for Google – which highlights the fact that Larry and Sergey, just like their legal opponents, are motivated by immediate self interest rather than the public interest. Yes, a great many authorial parties are unrepresented in the settlement but so are the entire mass of consumers.

Arguments about whether the GBS does in fact serve the public interest should start there, and seen that way these arguments are not about whether we are “letting the best be the enemy of the good” as Nicholas says, but whether we are letting the worst be the friend of the bad.

John r Walker
4 years ago

DD
At the time Grimmelman ,on his blog quoted one of America’s sharpest legal minds ( can’t remember his name it was about 8 years ago) saying something along the lines of ‘ there are key clauses in the GBS that are simply impossible to interpret.’

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago

DD
It was Richard A. Epstein
“Any mortal who reads the Google settlement, as I have, will be defeated by its obscurity and complexity.”

( slightly odd phrasing ,no ?)

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago

I forgot to mention that the Authors Guilds initial action was based on a claim that simply scanning and indexing in copyright books and displaying small snippets of those in copyright books , was in itself a breach of copyright.
It was only after the Guilds attempt to get the GBS ratified had failed, that the Guild then proceeded with their initial claim. The court rulling on that claim was that scanning, indexing, and displaying snippets is Fair Use.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

The GBS would have at the same time also built a really big (privatised )centralisation of ,power and that was what was “disturbing ” about this ‘public good’.

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

“Property Law ” ? You have not been paying attention ??
no troppo sports day excursion for you young master Gruen :-)

John r Walker
4 years ago

Nicholas
Coda to all of this is:
the Authors Guild were ( to the point of haplessly) unrepresentative of the class.

And if they had simply proceeded with their initial action it would have quickly failed.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago

Google was the only party to the GBS negotiations that was clearly not in a position of conflict of interest.
For example
This is a quotation from the open letter that was sent to members of the US Congress who were published authors by three US authors’ organisations who were protesting against the settlement; National Writers Union, American Society of Journalists and Authors, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America:

“Have you wondered why the settlement only covers out of print books? It’s because the major publishers have struck side deals with Google for their in-print books. In other words, the publishers who are negotiating for the plaintiff class have brokered a deal that will determine the digital future for books — but they want no part of it for the books that they actually are trying to sell!”

The publishers’ side was challenged in November to deny the existence of this side deal and has not done so. It was provided for in the settlement agreement under 17.9.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago

Nicholas
I had a moment of ‘ Christ the GBS was seven years ago’ when you posted that link to the Atlantic article. Had not thought about it for years.

My feeling is that in the end GBS only muddied the water – GBS really had too much of a taint of ‘too big and too much power ,in too few hands’. And therefore the real problems and possible solutions got obscured.
for example: questions as to what to do about the ‘orphans ‘ problem(s) continue .
Late last year Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC) released a report on possible legal approaches to using Orphan works.
Have only skimmed it , however it seems to be worth a few hours.

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Orphans – what is and what is not an orphan- can be complicated. read that report.
Its similar to the situation were books can be simultaneously in print and out of print -I’m not making that up.

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  John r Walker

Some jurisdictions such as the UK have implemented schemes along those lines.
Time will tell.

BTW
Why are you ‘moralising’, about something that is truly complex- when you seem almost proud that you don’t have the time to even try to understand the, many voices?

Don’t understand.

John r Walker
4 years ago

Nicholas

WK Hancock used to say to his students: History is best conducted with your boots on…

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Nicholas
I agree that copyright is a mess, is frequently abused and that there are serious problems.

However the GBS was a solution that was worse than the problem.

One of the proposed measures is limiting the ‘ liability’ for scanning etc of titles that were published prior to say 1970- currently punitive damages are a big concern for libraries .

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Nicholas
The frustration is mutual:-)

Where we might find common ground is : I see the GBS as an attempt to hack around a ‘governing’ status quo that is deeply, frustratingly, stuck in a rut that only gets deeper and it’s been like that for decades.
Sincerely , “property law” was not intended as point scoring;
The essence of the GBS as legal political issue, was the way it fused legal catagories ( class action, copyright and anti-trust) so as to concentrate an intellectual property industry .

As for my obsessive compulsive side :-)
yes that’s what got me interested, however it was the sheer strangeness of the GBS as a ,representation, that kept my interest going.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Nicholas
In the interests of cooperation.

Orphan works are a really big thing -they could even outnumber all the titles that are either public domain or have known owners, nobody knows.
For example: by around 2011 Google had digitised around 12 million titles , yet only around 1.2 million of those titles had been claimed by a right holder.
And in the case of titles (such as compilations, books including photographs and or cartoonsetc) where there were multiple rightholders who as it stands all need to be found, the problem is even more vexing.

Can you think of a way of improving access to all those orphan titles that does not, also effectively grant an exclusive license to exploit all those titles to just , one big big company?

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Nicholas
Can’t follow what you are linking to ,time to start a new page

R. N. England
R. N. England
4 years ago

Please excuse my frivolous and definitely uninformed comment.
It sounds like capitalism trying to swallow “Western Culture” whole. I hope it has the same fate as Mr. Creosote.

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  R. N. England

Nice :-)

John r Walker
4 years ago

Nicholas
meta question : the Queen Anne Act replaced a concentrated monopoly with a decentralized monopoly, do you have a ( workable) alternative to those two options ?

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Basically agree, but how do we move in that direction , that’s more your field, no?

John r Walker
4 years ago

Nicholas you tried to stick:

pettifogging self-indulgence, self-righteous, small-mindedness, and greed for tiny morsels of financial gain

On to my tail. What do expect…

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Nicholas
CAL is a miniscule example of what you get when copyright is concentrated .

And entities like CAL are the reason why we are (metaphorically) members of fighter commands 303 squadron.

John r Walker
4 years ago

Nicholas this thread is getting too long,
Perhaps another, hoist is in order?

As for your attempts to weasel out of the implications of your frankly, insulting and ignorant description of , all objectors to the GBS :

Not worthy of you.

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Nicholas
From what I know your description of the music and pharmaceutical sectors attitude sounds right.

However its too sweeping for ‘books’ that’s because the book publishing industry has , least post 1709 , never been as concentrated as say ,the recording industry was in the 1960s.

John r Walker
4 years ago

Nicholas
BTW
Copyright – for better and for worse- affects virtually all of us. It is woven into the fabric of our lives, it should be 101 for all economics students.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago

Nicholas
I am taking a ‘breather ‘.
May I offer the following to both of us for reflection , its from Friedrich Schelling :

“The question is not; what view of the phenomenon should we take in order conveniently to explain it in terms of some philosophy or other? on the country, we should ask what philosophy is called for, if it is to live up to the subject and be on the same level/ not how must the phenomenon be turned,twisted,narrowed, deformed in order to be explicable at all costs according to principles ourselves have resolved never to go beyond. But rather: to what extent must we enlarge our thinking, so that it might relate adequately to the phenomenon ?”

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago

Nicholas
If it’s ok with you I’d like to stick to the subject of orphan works. It’s big enough and it’s important for public collections, yet it’s also reasonably specific.

Do you know if the NLA has a estimate of how many orphan works it has in its collection? And if they do have a estimate, do they have a ballpark figure for what percentage of their oprpan works were printed prior to 1970?

Given the nature of the NLA collection such figures should give an indication of the scale of the number of orphan works in Australia, no?

John r Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

Actually now I think of it I know somebody who , might, be able to hazard a estimate.

John r Walker
4 years ago

Orphans are basically an artefact created by the current extremely long term of copyright.

Thomas Babington Macaulay in 1841 in a motion opposing the extension of the term of copyright to life plus 60 years, called for it to be :42 years or life , which ever is the longer.

Obviously it would have been better for all if Macaulay’s motion had won, but we have to work with what we have, yes?

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  John r Walker

Correction
Mccaulay did prevail in 1841, the extension to life plus sixty came a bit latter
Have you read his speech in full?
http://homepages.law.asu.edu/~dkarjala/OpposingCopyrightExtension/commentary/MacaulaySpeeches.html
The last paragraph of Macauley’s (fairly long) speech is famous , the full speech is worth the effort ,for example he does a convincing rhetorical job of explaining the large negative cost-benefit equation of extending the term of copyright to absurd lengths .

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  John R Walker

In the U.K. term of copyright was extended to life plus 50 years in 1911.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

:-)
It was; 42 years or life , which ever was the longer.
After all in those days a lot did die young leaving behind young widows and young dependents -there wasn’t a lot of social security in those days.

ChrisB
4 years ago

There were two speeches by Macaulay,
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2170/2170-h/2170-h.htm#link2H_4_0018
and
https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2170/2170-h/2170-h.htm#link2H_4_0019
Still worth reading:

The present state of the law is this. The author of a work has a certain copyright in that work for a term of twenty-eight years. If he should live more than twenty-eight years after the publication of the work, he retains the copyright to the end of his life.
My noble friend does not propose to make any addition to the term of twenty-eight years. But he proposes that the copyright shall last twenty-five years after the author’s death. Thus my noble friend makes no addition to that term which is certain, but makes a very large addition to that term which is uncertain.
My plan is different. I would made no addition to the uncertain term; but I would make a large addition to the certain term. I propose to add fourteen years to the twenty-eight years which the law now allows to an author. His copyright will, in this way, last till his death, or till the expiration of forty-two years, whichever shall first happen. And I think that I shall be able to prove to the satisfaction of the Committee that my plan will be more beneficial to literature and to literary men than the plan of my noble friend.
It must surely, Sir, be admitted that the protection which we give to books ought to be distributed as evenly as possible, that every book should have a fair share of that protection, and no book more than a fair share. It would evidently be absurd to put tickets into a wheel, with different numbers marked upon them, and to make writers draw, one a term of twenty-eight years, another a term of fifty, another a term of ninety. And yet this sort of lottery is what my noble friend proposes to establish. I know that we cannot altogether exclude chance. You have two terms of copyright; one certain, the other uncertain; and we cannot, I admit, get rid of the uncertain term. It is proper, no doubt, that an author’s copyright should last during his life. But, Sir, though we cannot altogether exclude chance, we can very much diminish the share which chance must have in distributing the recompense which we wish to give to genius and learning. By every addition which we make to the certain term we diminish the influence of chance; by every addition which we make to the uncertain term we increase the influence of chance. I shall make myself best understood by putting cases. Take two eminent female writers, who died within our own memory, Madame D’Arblay and Miss Austen. As the law now stands, Miss Austen’s charming novels would have only from twenty-eight to thirty-three years of copyright. For that extraordinary woman died young: she died before her genius was fully appreciated by the world. Madame D’Arblay outlived the whole generation to which she belonged. The copyright of her celebrated novel, Evelina, lasted, under the present law, sixty-two years. Surely this inequality is sufficiently great—sixty-two years of copyright for Evelina, only twenty-eight for Persuasion. But to my noble friend this inequality seems not great enough. He proposes to add twenty-five years to Madame D’Arblay’s term, and not a single day to Miss Austen’s term. He would give to Persuasion a copyright of only twenty-eight years, as at present, and to Evelina a copyright more than three times as long, a copyright of eighty-seven years. Now, is this reasonable? See, on the other hand, the operation of my plan. I make no addition at all to Madame D’Arblay’s term of sixty-two years, which is, in my opinion, quite long enough; but I extend Miss Austen’s term to forty-two years, which is, in my opinion, not too much. You see, Sir, that at present chance has too much sway in this matter: that at present the protection which the State gives to letters is very unequally given. You see that if my noble friend’s plan be adopted, more will be left to chance than under the present system, and you will have such inequalities as are unknown under the present system. You see also that, under the system which I recommend, we shall have, not perfect certainty, not perfect equality, but much less uncertainty and inequality than at present.

John R Walker
John R Walker
4 years ago
Reply to  ChrisB

Both speeches are worth reading , from his first speech:

“Now, I will not affirm, that the existing law is perfect, that it exactly hits the point at which the monopoly ought to cease; but this I confidently say, that the existing law is very much nearer that point than the law proposed by my honorable and learned friend. For consider this; the evil effects of the monopoly are proportioned to the length of its duration. But the good effects for the sake of which we bear with the evil effects are by no means proportioned to the length of its duration. A monopoly of sixty years produces twice as much evil as a monopoly of thirty years, and thrice as much evil as a monopoly of twenty years. But it is by no means the fact that a posthumous monopoly of sixty years gives to an author thrice as much pleasure and thrice as strong a motive as a posthumous monopoly of twenty years. On the contrary, the difference is so small as to be hardly perceptible. We all know how faintly we are affected by the prospect of very distant advantages, even when they are advantages which we may reasonably hope that we shall ourselves enjoy. But an advantage that is to be enjoyed more than half a century after we are dead, by somebody, we know not by whom, perhaps by somebody unborn, by somebody utterly unconnected with us, is really no motive at all to action.”