Copyrights were instituted to ensure that both the author and the publisher (printer) would be paid for their efforts. So here I am publishing and authoring for free! Do I owe a living to those in the printing business? or to the owners of bookshops? or to librarians? I think not.
And what about the researchers who publish in peer-reviewed journals? Weren't they paid to do the research? A lot of research is funded by government or by non-profit tax-exempt institutions. The rights to the information seems to belong rightly with the citizenry at large; the taxpayers and the state. In the Netherlands, there's a new law that requires publicly supported research be published on-line, and freely available.
p2p changes everything.
For all practical purposes, it's already impossible to enforce copyrights. It will soon be impossible to trace the origins of a file found on the internet. Even "wiretapping" will be useless in the face of encryption advances.
So the gig is up for the producers who do business in pre-internet ways. Record companies, movie studios, and research publishers are at a dead end for their business model. They see the writing on the wall. They are frightened. And they try to frighten us by saying that if they don't distribute the content, then there won't be any way to pay the producers. They say that the production will stop. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Research is paid for by folks that want to know something, or by government or non-profits (see above)! And artists, for the most part, work for peanuts. In fact, most music companies and film distributors reject 100 or 1000 works for every one that they distribute. Yet the artists keep making art...
I predict a worldwide "golden age" that will eclipse the Renaisance. What could be better than free art and knowledge?