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Florence Earle Coates

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The question of perpetual copyright is, in my judgement, entitled to the full and favorable consideration of the Congress of an enlightened republic. There would seem to be every reason for the equitable protection, without limit as to time, of the unquestioned property rights of its citizens.
--
Mrs. Coates on perpetual copyright. From The Literary World, 28 Oct 1899.

 
Florence Earle Coates

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The central question that emerges—and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal—is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.

 
William F. Buckley
 

Now, this means that our government, National and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests. Exactly as the special interests of cotton and slavery threatened our political integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit. We must drive the special interests out of politics. That is one of our tasks to-day. Every special interest is entitled to justice-full, fair, and complete-and, now, mind you, if there were any attempt by mob-violence to plunder and work harm to the special interest, whatever it may be, that I most dislike, and the wealthy man, whomsoever he may be, for whom I have the greatest contempt, I would fight for him, and you would if you were worth your salt. He should have justice. For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office. The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation.

 
Theodore Roosevelt
 

Common sense is with the copyright warriors because the debate so far has been framed at the extremes — as a grand either/or: either property or anarchy, either total control or artists won't be paid. If that really is the choice, then the warriors should win.
The mistake here is the error of the excluded middle. There are extremes in this debate, but the extremes are not all that there is. There are those who believe in maximal copyright — "All Rights Reserved" — and those who reject copyright — "No Rights Reserved." The "All Rights Reserved" sorts believe that you should ask permission before you "use" a copyrighted work in any way. The "No Rights Reserved" sorts believe you should be able to do with content as you wish, regardless of whether you have permission or not. ... What's needed is a way to say something in the middle — neither "all rights reserved" nor "no rights reserved" but "some rights reserved" — and thus a way to respect copyrights but enable creators to free content as they see fit. In other words, we need a way to restore a set of freedoms that we could just take for granted before.

 
Lawrence Lessig
 

If no one can appeal to justice except to government, justice will be perverted in favor of the government, constitutions and supreme courts notwithstanding. Constitutions and supreme courts are state constitutions and agencies, and whatever limitations to state action they might contain or find is invariably decided by agents of the very institution under consideration. Predictably, the definition of property and protection will continually be altered and the range of jurisdiction expanded to the government’s advantage until, ultimately, the notion of universal and immutable human rights – and in particular property rights – will disappear and be replaced by that of law as government-made legislation and rights as government-given grants.

 
Hans-Hermann Hoppe
 

It is difficult to conceive any equitable reason why merchants conveying their goods across the Prairies in wagons, should not be as much entitled to the protection of the Government, as those who transport them in vessels across the ocean. This assistance (with the reopening of the ports) might enable our merchants to monopolize the rich trade of Chihuahua; and they would obtain a share of that of the still richer departments of Durango and Zacatecas, as well as some portion of the Sonora and California trade.

 
Josiah Gregg
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