The premise of this thread is to illustrate the unexpected or underappreciated costs of intellectual property laws and potential avenues of reform.
One recent case in the media is "A Professor's Fight Over Shostakovich Heads to the Supreme Court".
The problem? The changing of the goalposts. Works that were previously in the public domain, which could be purchased for reasonable cost are now prohibitively expensive to license.
Likewise, with international agreements vs copyright terms. For example, in Australia, many works that were in the public domain became limited by copyright again after the signing of the free trade agreement.
Now the Russian president has recently been advocating changes to copyright laws at the G8 summit. As well as proposals for changes to Russian law.
From the words of some guy on Slashdot, "In Russia, you reform copyright law. In America, copyright law reforms you."
But what is the real reason for this? It is in the interests of those who own less intellectual property to advocate for reform and vice versa for those who own more intellectual property.
If copyright is to be reformed, then the economic benefits must be emphasised over the costs. There may be for example, difficult to quantify benefits to the citizens vs easy to quantify reductions in revenue for net intellectual property exporters.
As for what sorts of reform, let's see what you guys can come up with (yes, I have some interesting ideas of my own too).