Monthly Archives: October 2009

Why should copyright protect a company’s “right” to disappear a cultural work?

Videogames are cultural works. Talented artists, designers, programmers, and musicians all join together to craft unique, meaningful experiences for a contemporary audience. The resulting products have value for the community, which is why we grant their creators temporary monopolies (“copyright”) to enable them to afford to create more.


But if copyright is supposed to be about protecting these works for the benefit of the public – then why does it so often work to destroy them? Why do we protect a company’s right to “disappear” (or, in Microsoft-speak, “delist”) a work? Why don’t we explicitly protect those who try, under constant threat of oppressive litigation, to preserve this cultural heritage?