(OT) Unauthorize copying ... was: Re: (no subject)

From: Paul Berger <sanepsycho_at_globaldialog.com>
Date: Fri Jan 17 21:41:19 2003

On Fri, 2003-01-17 at 16:12, Jim Strickland wrote:
> Furthermore, I think that copyrights should be extended to permanence
> so long as the work in question is available for purchase by the
> public. eg: If Disney wants to keep SteamBoat Willie copyrighted for
> eternity, they have to sell you a copy at will. I have far greater
> problems with companies that take a copyright and sit on it and make it
> unavailable to the public than I do with those who want to protect
> their revenue stream.

Should the umpteenth ancestor of Bach, Shakespeare, Mozart, et. all be
able to hold their work hostage forever? These works are part of our
culture and our culture is better for them being freely usable.

I think we should go back to the way things were before the 1973
copyright extension. This was a 28 years with an additional 28 years if
the copyright holder filed for an extension and registered a copy with
the library of congress.

As it stands now it can be impossible to find who owns copyright on say
an old software package, and so even if you want to do the right thing
and get permission to distribute it it's almost certainly not possible
since the company has probably gone out of business and there are no
records of who owns the rights.

The 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act was supposed to normalize US
copyrights with the European Union making things more consistent (this
was also the reasoning for the 1973 CEA). Of course it did not do that
since when the act was pasted it retroactively whereas in most of Europe
the old term was left in effect. The net result of the 1998 SBCEA was
that some things are in the public domain in Europe, but still under
copyright protection here. This has muddied the waters considerably
with the possibility of stuff being imported into the USA, this is
forcing the RIAA & MPAA to pressure congress to limit imports of
European content product and them pressuring Europe to change their
copyrights to "harmonize" them with the US.


P.S. My congressmen, wife and co-workers are tired of me ranting about
this subject too! :^D
Received on Fri Jan 17 2003 - 21:41:19 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:36:01 BST