I wonder how much of today's laissez-faire approach to piracy -- no, quite the opposite, I should say, today's increasing dependence on piracy (iPods, DSis, VCR-to-DVD combos, etc) -- can be attributed to the erasure of the public domain. That is, if twenty four year-old TV shows had dropped into the public domain, 1.) Would as many people pirate whatever they get their hands on today? and 2.) Would the corresponding network situation have made it any easier to police the trade in illegal files? What if there was a low-cost iTunes Store style application for distributing files in the public domain, and some of the shows it shared we could actually remember having seen the first time?

Magnum, PI is 28 this year, you know.