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Old 11-19-2012, 07:29 AM   #16
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Couldn't be done. The International Berne Copyright Treaty, to which the US is a signatory, requires a minimum copyright term of "life+50 years". Changing that would require re-negotiating Berne, and that's something that would probably take decades.
Just a side note, the group that wrote that particular survey has little respect for international treaties or the UN. The Berne Convention was probably the exact last thing on their mind.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:47 AM   #17
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Just a side note, the group that wrote that particular survey has little respect for international treaties or the UN. The Berne Convention was probably the exact last thing on their mind.
I'm sure that Disney would soon point out the error of their ways to them . In this particular case, the US economy massively benefits from the treaty.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:59 AM   #18
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Couldn't be done. The International Berne Copyright Treaty, to which the US is a signatory, requires a minimum copyright term of "life+50 years". Changing that would require re-negotiating Berne, and that's something that would probably take decades.
Decades? Better start now then. If a treaty is being maintained out of inertia rather than any rational policy objective, then something has gone very wrong and it should be renegotiated.

And in any event, the paper at least has the effect of dispelling some common copyright myths and demonstrating that there is some level of understanding that all is not well with copyright legislation.


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I'm sure that Disney would soon point out the error of their ways to them . In this particular case, the US economy massively benefits from the treaty.
Does the U.S. benefit or do certain large players benefit disproportionally, to the overall detriment of the U.S. public? And even if the U.S. is benefiting from an inefficient system, think how much more it could be benefiting from a rational one.

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Old 11-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #19
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Decades? Better start now then. If a treaty is being maintained out of inertia rather than any rational policy objective, then something has gone very wrong and it should be renegotiated.
Why do you believe that the goals of the Berne Convention are not rational?
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:12 AM   #20
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Decades? Better start now then. If a treaty is being maintained out of inertia rather than any rational policy objective, then something has gone very wrong and it should be renegotiated.

And in any event, the paper at least has the effect of dispelling some common copyright myths and demonstrating that there is some level of understanding that all is not well with copyright legislation.




Does the U.S. benefit or do certain large players benefit disproportionally, to the overall detriment of the U.S. public? And even if the U.S. is benefiting from an inefficient system, think how much more it could be benefiting from a rational one.
This. The sooner we begin renegotiating it all the sooner we'll have better laws covering at least the 20th century advances.

Last edited by kennyc; 11-19-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:10 PM   #21
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Why do you believe that the goals of the Berne Convention are not rational?
The Berne Convention is a 19th century treaty trying to operate in a 21st century world. The treaty may once have been rational but should be re-examined to ensure it makes sense in light of new technologies and new economic understandings about copyright law. We've had over a century now since the Berne Convention (and decades since the last amendment), I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that it's time to take another look at it. How can it be rationally applied to a world where everyone has the equivalent of a printing press in their homes?

The sub-committee that issued the report that is the topic of this thread recommended that copyright terms and renewals be limited to avoid negative externalities. If limiting copyright terms is rational, and the Berne Convention would prevent limiting copyright terms because it was negotiated in a different era, then the Berne Convention is irrational.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:29 PM   #22
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The sub-committee that issued the report that is the topic of this thread recommended that copyright terms and renewals be limited to avoid negative externalities. If limiting copyright terms is rational, and the Berne Convention would prevent limiting copyright terms because it was negotiated in a different era, then the Berne Convention is irrational.
This discussion is a little bizarre in that it has been the US consistently in the lead in extending its own copyright terms, and influencing other countries to do likewise. The idea that it is going to turn around and suddenly reduce them is what is irrational. The same interests that have paid for existing extensions will continue to pay for further ones.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:31 PM   #23
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This discussion is a little bizarre in that it has been the US consistently in the lead in extending its own copyright terms, and influencing other countries to do likewise. The idea that it is going to turn around and suddenly reduce them is what is irrational. The same interests that have paid for existing extensions will continue to pay for further ones.
Predicting that the U.S. will reduce copyright term might be irrational, but I never argued that; I argued that the reduction itself would be rational and, implicitly, that international treaties should as a general principal be renegotiated when they don't make sense any more because of the march of time, technology or both.

Even if a retracted report isn't going to change anything, it's still marginally encouraging that parts of the U.S. government are alive to the issue. Frankly, I find it encouraging when anything copyright related comes out of the U.S. government that has involved critical analysis rather than RIAA talking points. It's just too bad the Republican party was to weak willed to stand behind their own research for more than a day.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:43 PM   #24
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Predicting that the U.S. will reduce copyright term might be irrational, but I never argued that; I argued that the reduction itself would be rational and, implicitly, that international treaties should as a general principal be renegotiated when they don't make sense any more because of the march of time, technology or both.
I'm all for shorter copyright terms, but I don't see what time/technology has to do with it. Why should the terms be different today than they were a few decades ago? I've seen this from a few posters, so it seems obvious to some, but I don't get the connection.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:11 PM   #25
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Ntpicking-the paper used the wrong "there" in #3, False Copyright Claims. I'm sorry, but stuff like that makes me wonder about the intellect of the author. But I guess this is Congress, so my expectations shouldn't be very high. After all, they diagnosed Terry Shivo by video coference!
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:51 PM   #26
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Whoops, Mr Teller didn't quite get that right. Let me see if I can correct it.

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From: Teller, Paul
Sent: Saturday, November 17, 2012 04:11 PM
Subject: RSC Copyright PB

We at the RSC take pride in providing informative analysis of major policy issues and pending legislation that accounts for the range of perspectives held by RSC Members and within the conservative community. Yesterday you received a Policy Brief on copyright law that was published without adequate review within the RSC and failed to meet that standard. Copyright reform would have far-reaching impacts, so it is incredibly important that it be approached with all facts and viewpoints in hand [unless those facts and viewpoints disagree with the goals of the MPAA and RIAA]. As the RSC’s Executive Director, I apologize and take full responsibility for this oversight. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and a meaningful Thanksgiving holiday....

Paul S. Teller
Executive Director
U.S. House Republican Study Committee
Paul.Teller@mail.house.gov
http://republicanstudycommittee.com
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:40 PM   #27
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I'm all for shorter copyright terms, but I don't see what time/technology has to do with it. Why should the terms be different today than they were a few decades ago? I've seen this from a few posters, so it seems obvious to some, but I don't get the connection.
The internet is a disruptive technology (or suite of technologies if you like) when it comes to copyright, and it also expedites the development of more disruptive technologies.

The internet has made it far easier to access copyrighted materials, but also far easier to create them (e.g. ePubs and the rise of self-publishing as a legitimate way to get your book into the market). If the goal of copyright is to encourage the production of copyrightable materials, then it should reflect the actual needs of authors and other creative individuals for a limited distribution monopoly; if technology has made it less necessary to give someone a multi-decade monopoly (i.e. the copyright term) to get them to produce a work in the first place, then laws and treaties should be revisited to make sure they're not giving out excessive monopoly periods and creating a drag on innovation when the goal is to encourage innovation.

The Berne Convention never contemplated the disruptions caused by the internet or the economic realities that resulted therefrom, and should be revisited to make sure it's not causing a drag on innovation and hobbling innovators more than its helping.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:23 PM   #28
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Just a side note, the group that wrote that particular survey has little respect for international treaties or the UN.
Yea, but it is a little surprising all the non-Republicans who apparently have little regard for international law.

Actually, the length of protection in the abortive GOP plan only needs to be changed a little to be Berne-compliant for movies. Berne protects them for 50 years after first showing, just four years longer than the withdrawn plan. And Berne protects photos for just 25 years. Music, I don't know -- can anyone interpret the music language here:
http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/b...ocs_wo001.html

Books of course are the clearest example where the withdrawn plan massively violated Berne in terms of copyright length.

I think that the biggest proposed Berne violation, and biggest departure from Republican party principles, was the proposed copyright renewal fees AKA new taxes. Or am I wrong -- does Berne allow renewal fees?

The GOP is in panic over losing votes. And the GOP is hardly Hollywood-friendly. I think there a real possibility of this trial balloon coming back, but without the fees.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 11-19-2012 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:49 PM   #29
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The internet is a disruptive technology (or suite of technologies if you like) when it comes to copyright, and it also expedites the development of more disruptive technologies.
It is in the nature of technology to be disruptive, why would we create if not to disrupt? To alter the way things were.

Yes an end of copyright will create complete anarchy in the realm of content distribution, but why create the network if not to share everything?
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:31 AM   #30
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I'm sure that Disney would soon point out the error of their ways to them . In this particular case, the US economy massively benefits from the treaty.
More like Disney's economy benefits from the treaty.The US economy would probably benefit more from people at flea markets being able to sell compilation DVDs of old public domain Donald Duck cartoons.
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