Why does the rhetoric of copyright policy diverge so far from the practices and lifestyles of actual artists? Artists copy constantly, and rarely rely on copyright’s economic incentive. One explanation is that copyright really isn’t directed at promoting the creation of art; rather, it’s true objective is protecting the business models of publishers and distributors of copyrighted works. Media companies, however, are not as sympathetic beneficiaries of copyright legislation as individual artists, and thus hide behind artists when promoting their agenda.
To be sure, copyright plays a significant role in promoting the creation of works that are expensive to produce, such as motion pictures. But nuanced policymaking should not confuse the needs of movie studios with those of individual artists.
Moreover, because digital networks have dramatically lowered the cost of publishing and distributing works, copyright now is less critical to promoting these activities. While overly broad copyright laws may help large media companies preserve their profitability, they aren’t necessary to ensure that the public has access to creative works.
An excellent piece by Jonathan Band, The Gap Between Artistic Practice and Copyright Rhetoric, builds off Jerry Saltz's 33 rules on How to be an Artist. Band's conclusion is very much of a piece of what I've been expressing for years:
Peter Friedman is a lawyer, artist representative, speaker & writer who's written for years on the impact of law on creative endeavors and law itself as a creative endeavor. From 2008-2012, he wrote Ruling Imagination: Law & Creativity, selections of which are republished here and the entire archive of which is available from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine here and in pdf format here. In addition, he has written about copyright and fair use at What is Fair Use?