A while ago, Danny Colligan (author of the wonderfully rigorous & thorough "What We Lose When We Embrace Copyright") sent us a link to a new short piece he'd written, about public subsidies for artists and how to set them up so they result in more freedom, not more restriction. It's here:
There are many schemes one could create to subsidize artists. Economist Dean Baker made one such proposal, which relies on a voucher system. Basically, taxpayers get vouchers that they can use to allocate to whatever artist(s) they want, and artists, as a requirement for receiving money through the system, are forbidden from copyrighting their work. Such a system leverages the already existing tax infrastructure, would be more than sufficient to cover artists’ costs, and does not even require any sweeping changes like elimination of all copyright (besides, of course, passage of law that would bring the program itself into existence). In short, the proposed voucher system is a relatively unobtrusive reform that could easily be implemented within the context of the current legal and economic system. The political effort required to enact it, however, is another story, of course.
Yes. This shouldn't even be a hard call. Public money should result in public goods.