Claim: Copyright Is Unnatural

Claim: Copyright is unnatural. It doesn’t exist in nature.

Response: The problem with this claim is that it seems to be an “appeal to nature” fallacy – it doesn’t exist in nature, and therefore shouldn’t exist:

An appeal to nature is an argument or rhetorical tactic in which it is proposed that “a thing is good because it is ‘natural’, or bad because it is ‘unnatural'”.
Source: Wikipedia: Appeal to Nature

It’s not hard to think of examples of things that aren’t “natural”, but we’d defend their existence because it improves the world. For example, land ownership, police, judges, courts, and taxes are unnatural. While there might be debates on the amount of taxes people should pay, very few people argue that an anarchistic, no-taxes society would lead to a betterment of the world.

Conversely, there may be plenty of evils in the world that are quite natural – killing, rape, and theft are common in nature. It’s also natural for the largest and strongest to dominate the weak. Being “natural” does not mean it is good, and being “unnatural” does not mean that it is bad.

The idea that copyright shouldn’t exist because it doesn’t exist “in nature” is just a non-sequitur. We shouldn’t strive to live in a state of nature.

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