A possible alternative to copyright, and the payment of royalties, does exist in Canada.

When you buy a blank videotape, etc., you pay tax that goes into a fund that is used to pay artists who have copyrighted material.

Libraries, in a similar manner, are members of co-operatives that allow for the limited photocopying of copyright works, and the payment of copyright owners.

In Canada, there are two legs that copyright protection stands on, illegal selling of the work, and the moral rights the author has in the work. It is hard to see hoe we at E2 are engaged in the illegal selling of a work, though an author might have legitimate claim for violation of their moral right.

The biggest motivation to sentiments such as those of Omnifarious above, is the unreasonable extension of copyright protection in the United States and England in particular. (See How Long Copyright Protection Endures) Even the American Constitution allows only for a reasonable time for this protection, to balance interests.

In countries, such as Canada, where the term of copyright protection is basically 50 years, a balance between the interests of the creator, and the public can be made.

The goal of an intellectual commons, maybe read the internet, is not impossible, but depend, as does most everything these days, on the reining in of corporate power.