So I say "prove it". I have posed a challenge to the open source activists who want to abolish copyright. Nothing legally prevents artists from licensing their *original* work under open source licenses and using open source business models. So let's see these evolved business models at work. Let's see them create the levels of fame and fortune that inspire people to "suffer for their art". Or, if the concepts of fame and fortune are so antithetical to the cause, let's see them produce a significant community of artists in varied mediums who are making a decent middle class living solely from open source business models and open source licensing their art.
I'm sick of hypothetical examples. If Open Source models work for all forms of copyrighted intellectual property and this warrants abolishing copyright, then show me the money. Prove this is a workable real-world idea, and not just some utopian ideal that will never stand up in real practice.
The open source art world is a cool niche and occasionally produces some interesting stuff, but it's not producing the kind of quantity or success that proves it can be a substitute for copyright. It's time for those who advocate open source art to step up to the plate and swing for the fences instead of chattering from the dugout. It's time for them to prove their ideas are real and workable, not just nice dreams that would work in a perfect world where we were all altruists and willing to create art for art's sake.
So I challenge you to prove your claims on a large scale, prove your ideas and ideals work, and show the world that open source art is a viable alternative to copyrighting your art. By July 4 of this year, establish a central web site where this experiment/initiative will be publicized.
On July 4 of next year, declare your independence from copyright by documenting at that web site the successful open source art initiatives that have either produced comparable levels of stardom and wealth to copyright-driven models or have produced large communities of artists who are deriving a solid middle-class income from open source licensing their art.
If you can provide this proof, the quantity and quality of artists moving to open source models will increase significantly. If not, then perhaps some of you will start applying some of that formidable brain power to thinking about how to fix copyright and make it work better instead of abolishing it.
In the end, regardless of the outcome, society benefits. Either they learn a new, workable way that makes things better, or they get a new cadre of copyright reformers who will work within the system to make things better. But either way, once these models are proved or disproved, all the energy spent on debating hypothetical points can be refocused into creating real and beneficial change.