I meant to share this a long time ago and just never got around to posting it.
Stephan Kinsella has an important blog post about Copyright on his research site, C4SIF (Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom).
Personally, I was confused for a long time on the ethical justification for copyright law (as well as other forms of intellectual property). I have since rejected any type of legal justification for copyright or IP for that matter. I find it impossible to have a basis for property rights in the realm of "ideas", which are non-scarce and non-rivalrous in the economic sense.
Anyway, Kinsella's post references a horrific story regarding copyright and it affect on the musical group, Men at Work. Down Under is one of my top 10 favorite songs and yet this story haunts me every time I listen to it. It is truly jaw dropping.
If I'm a musician, I better make sure none of my songs are based on any nursery rhymes. Otherwise, if I do produce such a song and it becomes popular, starts generating some revenue, and I haven't received "permission" from the originator of the rhyme, you can bet your "kookaburra" I'll be slapped with some petty lawsuit like Men at Work. I guarantee it.
Does this seem the least wrong to anyone?