It's interesting that the "artists" producing mass producible works like books, films, music etc. are currently able to make large fortunes from their endeavours and Western law enshrines, pursues and prosecutes their right to do so, often at the expense of the public purse. And many people here seem (at least publicly) to support this.
And yet, many of those same people are in favour of their own mass producible, "works of art" (code), being donated to the public good.
I'm not realy sure of your point, but I did want to mention that the law allows the "Artist" to define the rights for that work and then enforces those rights. It neither forces them to sell it or give it away, instead it allows them to choose and makes the public follow that choice. "pursues and prosecutes their right to do so, often at the expense of the public purse" that is one of the best things ever! We have decided that the good of the people isn't as important as the rights of the few, I'm pretty sure there is a famous quote along those lines somewhere. I know that sounds realy weird, but the point is that the government shouldn't be able to take away my rights just because it thinks it should (not that this always works, nothing is perfect after all) and so my rights are more important than whatever the government deems as best for the public. I'm not a politician or a scholar so i'm probably wrong on some points, but you get the gist of it I hope.
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