Originally Posted by moz
Steve, you're taking the existing law in the US as the description of what copyright should be. Which is quite backwards.
Will more people be encouraged to write if they know that they can go to their grave never having allowed anyone to publish their work? Or will more people write if they know that they have 10 years from publication before copyright lapses? I suspect the latter.
More usefully, will more people do fun remixes of existing work if they gain the right to do so 10 years after first publication of a recording? For that reason alone I am inclined to support a "10 years absolute control, 10 years compulsory license" type model. That prevents unreasonable control while paying artists, and means that in the case where someone wants to reproduce a copyright work in the second period they merely have to pay a license fee, there's no negotiation (unless they want a lower fee that the statutory one).
yes, excellent points ; culture thrives on culture, and the current copyright system is an abusive degeneration of a system which was originally intended to protect artists AND encourage the proliferation of more art. the current system is stifling to everyone but disney and their ilk, and very clearly in desperate need of urgent reform. moz, your suggestion sounds like a reasonable one ; i would definitely support that if it ever came to a referendum.