This is a case of where the old copyright system worked a lot better. Where they had to be renewed, much like the patent system.
Basically a handful of commercially viable works is holding an immense wealth of information about the past hostage.
But sometimes the greater good is better than benefiting the creator for perpetuity. Same with patents - many of those have a more immediate impact on life, so why should inventors be penalized, while authors and musicians and whatnot be rewarded for only affecting culture?