There are many that I know and they know it. They are all
of them repeating and I hear it. I love it and I tell it. I love
it and now I will write it. This is now a history of my love
of it. I hear it and I love it and I write it. They repeat it.
They live it and I see it and I hear it. They live it and I hear
it and I see it and I love it and now and always I will write
it. There are many kinds of men and women and I know
it. They repeat it and I hear it and I love it. This is now a
history of the way they do it. This is now a history of the
way I love it.
Gertrude Stein,The Making of Americans,
“It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone or any other important thing—and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others. He added his little mite — that is all he did. These object lessons should teach us that ninety-nine parts of all things that proceed from the intellect are plagiarisms, pure and simple; and the lesson ought to make us modest. But nothing can do that.” – Mark Twain
The purpose of this Essay is not to propose a solution to the conflict between protecting copyright owners’ rights and allowing freedom of
speech. Indeed, I do not believe that such a solution is possible, because copying may sometimes be an instance of free speech even when it is also
copyright infringement. Tradeoffs are inevitable, and although there are better and worse ways of balancing the interests at stake, my main aim in
this Essay is to explain what copying is good for rather than to define the ideal scope of the rights granted by copyright.