Originally Posted by bill_mchale
Well except for some zealots, I don't think too many people are advocating a total elimination of copyright. The question is, are your interests really served by copyright lasting for 70 years after you die? Unless your work happens to be one of those handful of books that keep selling well for decades, your existing publisher will have little incentive to renew the contract on your books nor will new publishers have an incentive to pick them up. If you are independently published, will your children or grandchildren be interested enough in making sure your books remain available?
The questions you ask were relevant to the publishing of old, where books went out of print and simply couldn't be obtained. Keeping books available now, with ebooks and print on demand, is a minimal cost or inconvenience. This is likely to mean that children and grandchildren can make sure the books remain available, even for what may be quite small residual payments. AND, I would add, they could even - with minimal or no cost and inconvenience - choose to make it explicitly public domain, if they choose, rather than letting the work disappear altogether. In other words: the availability for public interest issue is no longer much of an argument against copyright.