I had no idea that Slashdot now had people posting from Bizarro World, but here you are.
Your theory of copyright is pretty awful. It not only fails to explain how copyright works in the real world, and how it has worked through history, which is what a good theory of copyright should do, but it's just plain offensive to boot.
Again, here is what is basically the standard theory:
Fundamentally, there is a natural right and ability of free speech, which all persons possess. This right encompasses both the creation of original work, as well as the verbatim repetition of others' work. Even in a state of nature, this exists. Obviously, if a work has yet to be created, it's not possible for someone other than the creator to make a copy of it; we cannot see into the future. And if a work is created but some other person never becomes aware of it, likewise, it's just not possible for them to make a copy of it; we are also not omniscient. That we suffer from these limits of knowledge doesn't mean that free speech does not exist. It just means that as a practical matter, it can be difficult to exercise.
On top of this, for various reasons which throughout history have ranged from political oppression to commercial concerns, organized groups of people have used their power (which as power usually does, boils down to the threat and use of physical force) to infringe on this right, both silencing people and using threats to deter (or 'chill') others from speaking out in the first place. These infringements upon speech often take the form of laws, and one such law is copyright law. In more modern eras, with more enlightened people, we recognize that in order to live together in a stable and mutually beneficial society, that we must willingly limit our own rights, and so modern copyright law involves the people creating and enforcing limits they've chosen for themselves, on themselves, for the benefit of themselves. They do so through governments which, in order to legitimately exercise power, must have the consent of the governed.
Does the author have any rights to control the speech of others that inherently exist merely by virtue of creating a work, absent the involvement of the state? No. He can make it practically difficult for others to exercise their rights, for example by not sharing it with them, but this is no different from making it exactly as practically difficult for others by not creating the work to begin with, and it's just nonsensical to say that authors have copyrights on the works they never made because they never made them. Copyrights then, must come from the state, and as the state (if it's legitimate) must derive its power from its people, copyright ultimately originates from the people who suffer it, not from those who enjoy it.
Copyright law presently consists of the state (on behalf of the people) granting to an author of a work the right to use certain powers of the state against those who exercise their free speech rights in certain ways in relation to the work. The statutory language confirms this -- the Copyright Act grants authors exclusive rights, i.e. rights to exclude others, in the work. But it only grants certain specific rights, such as copying, and distribution. Other rights, such as the right to read a work, or the right to privately perform a work, it doesn't ever grant to the author at all. And all of the rights that the law does grant to the author are shot full of holes -- limits on their applicability, which vary in size. And the author can't do a damn thing about it, other than to give up what we have deigned to grant him. He cannot take more (save by convincing us to give him more). And better still, this grant of rights from the public, to the author, is temporary. It expires when we say it does, whether the author is happy about it or not. And the statutory language confirms this as well -- when a copyright expires, not a single right is conferred upon the public. Yet such works are in the public domain, free for all to use; how can this be? Simply because the expiration of copyright is the dissolution of the infringement upon the public's underlying free speech right. When the author loses his right to stop the public from doing things, the public can go about their business and do things they've always had the right to do, and now no one can get in their way.
You only acquire certain rights to it at the moment I stop having complete exclusivity. I can do so under the statutory transfer of rights that is the Copyright Act
Show me where this transfer of rights occurs in the Act. Quote the exact language and cite the section in which the author transfers rights to the public as you claim.
Because the copyright holder has granted the world license to do so by virtue of publishing the work.
Want to try to explain Bobbs-Merrill then? In that case, which predates the codification of the First Sale Doctrine, a copyright holder published books which contained express language limiting the right of the public to resell copies on the basis of copyright. The Supreme Court found that the copyright holder had no such right. If publication were a license to the world by the copyright holder, surely express language by that party should be able to modify the license. But it didn't.
My theory provides a simple explanation: Free speech (together with personal property law) includes reselling copies of works which a member of the public has purchased. The author was never granted a right to control that. Therefore, the author couldn't control that, no matter how much he protested to the contrary.
you are clearly saying (correctly) that copyright imposes limitation's on a creator's rights
No, that is not what I said, and no, you are wrong.
No, it doesn't impose a single limitation on the creator's rights. The creator cannot turn his copyright against himself; only against others. He already had the right to make copies of his work, to distribute them, to prepare derivatives, etc. In a state of nature he could do those things, so copyright is clearly not giving him any affirmative rights to do things. All it gives him is a negative right to stop other people from doing things. He may have to fulfill certain conditions to get, keep, and exercise the copyright, but these are not limitations on his rights.
the legal concept of free speech has always recognized certain key parameters
No, not always. There are free speech maximalists, like Supreme Court Justices Black and Douglas. And it's a very attractive position to take, frankly.