Originally Posted by Solitaire1
I'd support a fixed term of 50 years from the date of the original release, rounded to 1 January of the next year, with no renewal. Reasons:
- Using the date of original release provides a fixed reference point. The time it takes an author to write a book is not a factor, it's the date the book is actually released that matters for copyright purposes.
- Fifty years is essentially the life of the creator but doesn't depend on when the creator actually passes on. It also removes the factor of who presently has the copyright on a item, whether an individual or a corporation it makes no difference.
- Rounding to 1 January is for simplicity, with everything released in a particular year falling into the public domain at the same time.
Basically, this rule makes it clear what is and is not in the public domain. Under this rule, any book released in 1960 would enter the public domain on 1 January 2011.
Just my opinion, and hopefully something that might work.
Let's add a few things...
-Registration, I don't remember the exact price but I think it was about $30 to register with the Library of Congress. Require registration within say a year of publication to quality
-Fines for false claims of infringement
-No interference with fair use rights. If you insist on DRM fine but when someone breaks it no crying.
-Public interest exceptions added to fair use. What i mean by this is your little medical pamphlet or whatever can be photocopied and passed around in say a flood zone or earthquake. I assume the governments have this sort of info packet already but just in case the public good would trump copyright. I think patents have something like this.
-No retroactive extensions to be written into the law.
-Limitations on damages. The law allows downloading an mp3 without permission ti have damages of up to $150k. Since they tend to retail for around $1 this seems more than a little excessive even for deliverance.