“Bob Dylan drew upon a rich lode of old folk tunes for most of his early songs,” Hyde writes. “That’s not theft; that’s the folk tradition at its best.” It seems that nearly two-thirds of Dylan’s work between 1961-63 — some 50 songs — were reinterpretations of American folk classics. In today’s corporate-creative environment, in which Disney was allowed to change the basic nature of copyright law back in the 90s so that their signature mouse wouldn’t fall into the public domain, Dylan’s early work would’ve landed him in court.

from a post at Mental Floss.  The punchline:

Hyde argues that “there are good reasons to manage scarce resources through market forces, but cultural commons are never by nature scarce, so why enclose them far into the future with the fences of copyright and patent?

I am generally opposed to IP law, but I think this oversimplifies.  There is room for argument about patents.  (For example, I came across this story today about drugs for rare diseases.  It is hard to see how drugs that will benefit a total of 3 people on the whole planet can be financed without monopoly rents.) However, copyright for music and other creative works is a solution to a non-existent incentive problem.