Cpoyright works in different ways...
...in different markets.
Most of the arguments I read here relate to creators of mass media and large corporations who are not creators at all but merely distributors. There is a whole industry of small, independent creators selling direct to a public who are mostly ignorant of copyright or don't give a damn about the rights of creators anyway. Strong copyright used to ensure both that those creators could earn a reasonable living from their work and also that consumers got a good deal and good service. Let me explain.
I am a photographer selling to the general public as much as to businesses. Historicaly, business clients paid full price for time (ie service) and got prints very cheaply, while consumers got the service for almost nothing because we could earn our profits on the sale of prints. This situation developed because businesses understood the value of time, while consumers understood the value of physical products but not the value of time.
That situation actually benefited consumers as well as us because our earnings related directly to how much they liked our work. We had an extra incentive to please because if we did a good job, we could reasonably expect to earn better than from a mediocre job.
Now consumers still expect us to work as cheaply as ever, but take whatever prints they do buy to the nearest copyshop to avoid paying for originals. Little wonder that high street photographers have all but disappeared.
This isn't a case of buggy-whip syndrome - high street photographers still provide valuable services and our work is still wanted, but consumers simply don't appreciate what it really costs to produce. If we take the pricing strategy for businesses and apply it to consumers, i.e. charge realistically for service so as to charge less for prints, then we get no bookings at all because they believe we are charging too much for service.
Strong copyright, if enforced, would enable us maintain the social contract of low upfront charges with final costs being dependent on the quality of our work, but trading standards very seldom take infringement of small photographers copyright seriously. The copy shops ply their trade with relative impunity, to the ultimate detriment of both creators and the consumers, even when they are quite blatant.
It's easy to lose sight of the needs of small businesses when these issues are discussed, but well planned copyright, properly enforced at the local level, can be a benefit to both creators and consumers.