In a recent posting to his blog, James Tanner writes: "I am talking about all the other stuff, blog posts, notes on family trees, biographies, surname books etc. that have absolutely no expectation of making a dime for their authors. What then is the benefit of copyright to these people?"
First, all the stuff that I write on my blog may not
pay me *directly*, but may pay me *indirectly*, by enhancing my
reputation, so that societies may pay me to speak, and publishers may
pay me to write.
Second, I have the right to *control* how my
copyrightable material gets used. The reality is, there are individuals
and organizations who I support, and individuals and organizations who I
do not support. If someone I support asks me to use my material, I
may happily give them permission. If someone I do not support asks
me, I may choose to refuse. Without copyright protection, I would not
have this option.