Nick Perumov is a good example of another point against copyright I've been trying to make for a while - copyright is theft from young creators. It's damn near impossible for a young person to step up with enough game and resources to take market share from an existing property, a property being pushed by a corporation with an advertising budget and lawyers on retainer. Young creators need to be able to do like Nick Perumov did - make an extension of an existing work people know about and are looking for. They need to be able to use it commercially, like Nick Perumov.
There are at least three different franchises I'd like to work with. I want to work with Tenchi Muyo. I put up a Tenchi illustration on Deviant Art and for a long, long time it was the most viewed work I had up there. I had ten or twenty views for my original illustrations and hundreds for the Tenchi illustration. But I can't invest years of illustration time into a project I have no chance of profitting from. The Paris Hiltons and Tagg Romneys of the world might be able to, but I didn't come into this world with a trust fund attached.
A few days ago I read that America can't replace it's population, even with millions of illegal Mexican immigrants pouring over the border. This is what happens when you have a value system that says "you don't get squat unless you earn it yourself (or have rich parents to give it to you)!" Well that's great, it makes a nice simple soundbite, but allow me to introduce the human lifecycle. When you get older, your genes break, and there's an increased risk of having an autistic child (autism is rising in the U.S.). Women go through menopause. IIRC female reproductivity starts dropping at 26. Not every field is one where you're going to leap in at 17 or 18 and be able to support a family. Basically there's construction - I see plenty of people who used to work construction who are now on disability. Who's supporting them? The intellectual workers who didn't get financially stable until they were in their thirties? Think about it, if you're a woman and you want a Ph.D, you probably won't get the Ph.D until after you're past your reproductive peak. Let alone get a job, get all the debt paid off, get financially secure.
I was raised with the idea that you shouldn't have kids if you can't support them. Guess who's looking for their grandkids now?
Young people should be paid to learn. Don't old people expect to get a paycheck from young people (Social Security)? Now the old people are wondering how they're going to get their paycheck when the population isn't replacing itself. It can't replace itself when you can't afford to have kids until you're old. The right time to have kids actually is when you're young. Of course it would be great to have them when you're old and wise, but the body doesn't work that way. You don't wait till 60 and have 5 kids. Young people should be paid to learn (learning is earning), so they can with security have children at the time when the body can have children.
I've digressed a bit from copyright. The deeper issue here, the deepest one of all, is that people (in America) have chosen to raise the fantasy of possibly achieving nigh-unlimited wealth above all other things they value. If I throw out the idea that we should have a society where wealth is capped at 20 million dollars, but you actually have a very good chance of achieving one million, or five million, that idea gets scorned. People prefer a society where, in theory, they can be one of the very few who achieve a wealth of billions of dollars. The reality for 99.99% of them is, they won't. But that's not important. The important thing is having room for the belief.
As long as people make that choice, we're fucked.