Essentially, proponents of copyright in literature argue that they see no other way of compensating authors for their work. Indeed, many libertarians believe that intellectual property on the whole is harmful but make an exception for literature. If one can undermine the arguments in favour of copyright, then one casts doubt on the necessity of other forms of intellectual property.
But before we look at how authors can be compensated without copyright laws, let us remind ourselves of how consumers would benefit in such a world. Imagine if copyright laws were abolished or voluntarily relinquished. The ideas contained within literature could be transmitted, articulated, and modified with far greater ease. For example, people could easily obtain copies of works for free, meaning that everyone would pay what they are willing to for such content. As a consequence of this, ideas would be more widely accessible.