I am a coder as well as a law student (and am, to my knowledge, the only such person currently dumb enough to be implementing an ACS v. Fed. Soc. Atari 2600 game) and, although I may be wrong, I think your logic, Prof. Lessig, is better than the “coder logic” described in your post (I haven’t read the original).

In formal, sentential logic there is a huge difference between saying “for ALL X, Y is true” and “for one X, Y is true.” If the domain of copyright is the set X, the proposal that compulsory licensing is appropriate for some subset of X, call it Y and say for this post that it is coextensive with recorded and published music (although you may think it greater the details are not the point here), does not entail compulsory licensing is appropriate for any member of X not also in subset Y. It seems to me that this logical analogy fits your proposal (although I am very good at being wrong).

A useful inquiry from that proposal would be something like “if set X subset Y is apprioriate for compulsory licensing, why not X subset foo” or simply “why not for all X,” but those are not entailed by your logic. In fact, although they represent good inquiries, logically they irrelevant.

In short (and if you’ve been following my variables), because Y, a subset of X, has the property of “compulsory licensing would be good in Prof. Lessig’s opinion” simply does not speak to the rest of X although inquiring minds should indeed explore it.

-amw

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