Intellectual property laws have shifted with the winds of history to justify specific interests. Countries that exported intellectual property favored the notion of authors’ natural rights, while developing nations, which were mainly importers, insisted on a more utilitarian interpretation that limited copyright by public interest. During the 19th century, American publishing companies justified their unauthorized publication of British writers on the utilitarian grounds that the public’s interest to have great works available for the cheapest possible price outweighed authors’ rights. By the beginning of the 20th century, as American authors became popular in Europe and American publishing companies became exporters of intellectual property, the law conveniently shifted, suddenly recognizing the natural rights of authors to own their ideas and forgetting previous theories of social utility.
This example should nicely show you how the laws of capitalist states are always modified to help the resident bourgeoisie make as much profit as possible. It was the same thing with tarriffs and corporate laws. They just paint them in a thin coat of populism and let the suckers who still believe that the common law is for the benefit of the common peopl, support them.
Anyway, read the whole thing. A very interesting take about the way the copyrights developed and what their real purpose has always been. Hint: It was never to promote creativity but to preserve existing monopolies and facilitate the exploitation of artists.