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[...] Fortunately, I am pretty sure verbatim copying something into your own brain isn't copyright infringement (yet).

I found that footnote enlightening. Passed as a quip, but actually profound. Wow.

This kind of reasoning is in fact why I oppose most copyright law.

Copying something into your brain is always legal. It's ok to hear a joke and tell it to your friend. But technology is basically augmenting our mental capabilities. A smartphone with a camera is a device that lets you remember images better than your brain can - if our brains could already do it, we wouldn't need the smartphone.

It happens that the smartphone is external to your brain, but over time, we might add that functionality to your glasses (which is closer), then maybe to your eye sockets or cornea, or eventually integrate it directly with your brain.

At which point, laws preventing you from copying things are basically laws that force you to limit the capabilities of human beings.

Current copyright law is based on human limitations - humans are bad at remembering verbatim entire books, so we have copyright laws for that. We don't have copyright laws for short jokes because we can remember those. But that framework of law stands in opposition to actually improving human capabilities. That's fundamentally wrong.

We already have these restrictions on us now; that joke in my post was in part to point this out. I know most of the Dead Kennedys songs verbatim. If I perform them publicly, it's copyright infringement already. If I write them down from my own memory, it's copyright infringement too.

Just getting rid of copyright law is dangerous, though. It'd be unilateral disarmament, because there are plenty of other mechanisms, like EULAs, that can be used to control what was previously copyrighted. We'd need massive reform of all the legal systems at once, lest we eviscerate the only tools we have (i.e., copyleft) while leaving all the opponents' tools in place.

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