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Old 03-01-2012, 07:39 AM   #1
Ninjalawyer
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A Modest Proposal - Eternal Copyright

Friends, a great injustice is being wrought by current copyright laws. In countries with life+70 year copyright terms, property that your descendants have every right to is being plucked from their hands by a cruel and uncaring system. Let me paint you a picture to illustrate just the full extent of this horror.

Imagine you're a new parent at 30 years old and you've just published a bestselling new novel. Under the current system, if you lived to 70 years old and your descendants all had children at the age of 30, the copyright in your book – and thus the proceeds – would provide for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

But what, I ask, about your great-great-great-grandchildren? What do they get? How can our laws be so heartless as to deny them the benefit of your hard work in the name of some do-gooding concept as the "public good", simply because they were born a mere century and a half after the book was written? After all, when you wrote your book, it sprung from your mind fully-formed, without requiring any inspiration from other creative works – you owe nothing at all to the public. And what would the public do with your book, even if they had it? Most likely, they'd just make it worse.

No, it's clear that our current copyright law is inadequate and unfair. We must move to Eternal Copyright – a system where copyright never expires, and a world in which we no longer snatch food out of the mouths of our creators' descendants. With eternal copyright, the knowledge that our great-great-great-grandchildren and beyond will benefit financially from our efforts will no doubt spur us on to achieve greater creative heights than ever seen before.

So friends, I beg you, use whatever clout you have with your local lawmakers, organize rallys and participate in letter writing campaigns, do whatever you must to right this unjust state we exist in!



Much of the above is directly from an editorial by Adrian Hon, which is available here.

Last edited by Ninjalawyer; 03-01-2012 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:45 AM   #2
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copyright should end at death. does your family keep collecting money in perpetuity if you spent your life working in a warehouse? no. so why should they if you wrote a book?
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:04 AM   #3
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Umm... perhaps your should compare Ninjalawyer's post with Jonathan Swift's essay with the same main title.

That is, Ninjalawyer's post is most definitely ironic, and not intended to be taken seriously.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
Umm... perhaps your should compare Ninjalawyer's post with Jonathan Swift's essay with the same main title.

That is, Ninjalawyer's post is most definitely ironic, and not intended to be taken seriously.
And obviously so.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:20 AM   #5
anamardoll
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It's good, but I prefer the version that has people eating babies.

'Course, we're not allowed to post that version because it's STILL UNDER COPYRIGHT.*

* Not a factual statement, but if some people had their way...
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:23 AM   #6
DiapDealer
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I kept waiting for the; "for less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day" part.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:39 AM   #7
carpetmojo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjalawyer View Post
.................................................. .....
Imagine you're a new parent at 30 years old and you've just published a bestselling new novel. Under the current system, if you lived to 70 years old and your descendants all had children at the age of 30, the copyright in your book – and thus the proceeds – would provide for your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
But what, I ask, about your great-great-great-grandchildren? What do they get? How can our laws be so heartless as to deny them the benefit of your hard work in the name of some do-gooding concept as the "public good", simply because they were born a mere century and a half after the book was written? After all, when you wrote your book, it sprung from your mind fully-formed, without requiring any inspiration from other creative works – you owe nothing at all to the public. And what would the public do with your book, even if they had it? Most likely, they'd just make it worse.....
If someone may be very talented, clever, lucky, or just works very hard and very creatively, makes a lot of money, [ might even be a banker, lawyer, tax avoidance specialist, or an asset-stripping expert, ] retires early, and invests all his proceeds from commercial activity in, say, a lot of shares/trust fund/ chemical factory, or even a "society beneficial" enterprise, which earns a lot of money, that is protected by various clever legal arrangements, and all the proceeds are willed to his off-spring for 70 years after his death.............. or longer, including the ownership of all said wheezes................

Ummm... why can't we chuck that out as well ?

Or do the authors just need better lawyers ?

Last edited by pdurrant; 03-01-2012 at 09:10 AM. Reason: fixed quote tags
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:39 AM   #8
teh603
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*cough*

Excuse me, longtime pLOLitician here. We can't just make perpetual copyright open for individual citizens. The businesses and special interest groups who fund our campaigns have told us that we need to give perpetual copyright to properties held by businesses only, and that we also need to eliminate private holdership of copyright and patents. After all, we have to listen to the biggest stakeholders in our economy, otherwise we wouldn't be the great anarcho-capitalist plutocracy that we are today.

We will now return to your regularly- scheduled programming. Please keep your faces and bodies where the monitor in your terminal can see them, so your employers can verify that you aren't doing anything they don't want you doing.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:29 AM   #9
QuantumIguana
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Sure, lets have eternal copyright, but only if it is retroactive. Those who favor eternal copyright claim that the public domain is theft. If so, then lets not allow the thieves to keep their stolen goods. Romeo and Juliet? Stolen. Most of Disney's movies? Stolen. Why not do that for patents too? Grant a retroactive patent to the creation of fire.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:22 AM   #10
bill_mchale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpetmojo View Post
If someone may be very talented, clever, lucky, or just works very hard and very creatively, makes a lot of money, [ might even be a banker, lawyer, tax avoidance specialist, or an asset-stripping expert, ] retires early, and invests all his proceeds from commercial activity in, say, a lot of shares/trust fund/ chemical factory, or even a "society beneficial" enterprise, which earns a lot of money, that is protected by various clever legal arrangements, and all the proceeds are willed to his off-spring for 70 years after his death.............. or longer, including the ownership of all said wheezes................

Ummm... why can't we chuck that out as well ?

Or do the authors just need better lawyers ?

Well, I might point out that nothing stops an author from doing the same thing.

That being said, I think a case can be made against the existence of excessive hereditary wealth, even in strongly capitalist countries. In fact, I wonder how much income-tax could be replaced by a 90% inheritance tax?

--
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:23 AM   #11
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Copyright should last no more than 10 years. No renewal.
Patent should last no more than 10 years. One renewal.
Trademark should last 10 years but should be renewable indefinitely.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xg4bx View Post
copyright should end at death. does your family keep collecting money in perpetuity if you spent your life working in a warehouse? no. so why should they if you wrote a book?
I think with in reason, it is acceptable for copyright to extend for some moderate period after the death of an author. Indeed, I can imagine an author knowing he was in his declining years writing a book specifically to help support their family after their death.

Yes, someone who works the factory job or in the warehouse does not get that benefit, but copyright is also about giving authors a reason to write. If allowing a copyright to extend 15-20 or even 50 years after their death is necessary, I am ok with that... as long as copyright terms can never be extended retroactively!

--
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:29 AM   #13
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We must move to Eternal Copyright – a system where copyright never expires,...
monkey like
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:32 AM   #14
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Why not do that for patents too? Grant a retroactive patent to the creation of fire.
Dying from hypothermia sound a lot more appealing than death by patent lawyers ...
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:34 AM   #15
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Copyright should definitely end with the death of the author. It is the only natural cut-off point, whereas the other suggestions are arbitrary. Anything less than the lifespan on the author is also unreasonable in my opinion (like the ten years suggested above), as I fail to see any good reason to remove control from the author while he or she lives.

That said, I very much enjoyed the OP.
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