"...Copyright is in bad odor these days. Many of the developments over the last years designed to protect copyright have drawn academic scorn, and intolerance even from the popular press. I have a theory about how copyright got a bad name for itself, and I can summarize it in one word: Greed.
"Corporate greed and consumer greed. Copyright owners, generally perceived to be large, impersonal and unlovable corporations (the human creators and interpreters - authors and performers - albeit often initial copyright owners, tend to vanish from polemical view), have eyed enhanced prospects for global earnings in an increasingly international copyright market. Accordingly, they have urged and obtained ever more protective legislation, that extends the term of copyright and interferes with the development and dissemination of consumer-friendly copying technologies.
"Greed, of course, runs both ways. Consumers, for their part, have exhibited an increasing rapacity in acquiring and "sharing" unauthorized copies of music, and more recently, motion pictures. Copyright owners' attempts to tame technology notwithstanding, at least some of the general public senses as illegitimate any law, or more particularly, any enforcement that gets in the way of what people can do with their own equipment in their own homes (or dorm rooms). Worse, they would decry this enforcement as a threat to the Constitutional goal of promotion of the Progress of Science, and thus a threat to the public interest."
Introduction to the article, Essay--How Copyright Got a Bad Name For Itself, by Jane C. Ginsburg
Read the essay, posted on the Social Science Research Network