Tim Lee (read him on public domain here) elbows in on a discussion between Matt Yglesias and Dean Baker on our creaky copyright laws. Baker looks to Artistic Freedom Vouchers, which "would give each person a small tax credit to support creative work of their choosing." Lee disagrees:
[T]axpayer handouts for artists has the long-run potential to hurt consumers a lot more than bad copyright policies ever could. Whatever the flaws of today's overly-broad copyright rules, the extent of the damage is at least limited to the value of the items being sold. Bad copyright policy can allow copyright holders to capture an unfairly large share of the surplus value created by the purchase of creative works, but they can't ever capture more than the total value of those works. In contrast, once we start putting artists on the dole, there's every reason to think they'll start lobbying for larger and larger welfare checks, the same way farmers do today. Whatever the flaws of the current copyright system, a system in which every rock star in the country is dependent on the dole would certainly be a lot worse.
Indeed, there are easier ways for rock stars to help each other out.