British historian Thomas Babbington Macaulay speech in Parliament in 1841,

“Copyright is monopoly, and produces all
the effects which the general voice of mankind
attributes to monopoly. The effect of monopoly
generally is to make articles scarce, to make
them dear, and to make them bad. It is good
that authors should be remunerated; and the
least exceptionable way of remunerating them
is by a monopoly. Yet monopoly is an evil. For
the sake of the good we must submit to the
evil; but the evil ought not to last a day longer
than is necessary for the purpose of securing
the good.”

“The principle of copyright is this. It is a tax on readers for the purpose of giving a bounty to writers.”

  • Thomas Babbington Macaulay