Prawfsblawg wonders why we write legal scholarship, and can’t come up with a compelling answer. (To change the world? Too broad. To earn tenure? Too pragmatic.)
That’s not such a difficult question, is it? Unless you take it in a particularly narrow and not very interesting sense (“why write about security interests in intangible property?”). Why does anyone write? Except for diarists, we write to be read. (Even diarists may want to be read — just not so soon.) We have thoughts and ideas, knowledge and information, which we want to share with other people. Writing is a way of touching those who read our work, and being touched by those whose work we read.
All of which is a long way ’round of saying that it’s all about the money, sex, and fame, in some combination.
UPDATE: This, too, turns out to be a copyright post. Take a look at Science fiction author John Scalzi’s response to critics who roughed him up for being down with “piracy.”