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Old 05-29-2008, 07:25 PM   #16
Ralph Sir Edward
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The History of US copyright is as follows.

1790's - 17 years for patent and copyright, renewable once.

1920's - Copyright term extended to 28 years, with one renewal.
Patent remains at 17 years, renewable once.

1976 - Copyright - Entry into Berne convention, copyright changed to author's life plus 50 years. All pre 1923 works declared public domain.
Patent unchanged. 17 + 17.

Mid 1990's - Patent change to one 20 year period, without renewal.

Late 1990's - Sonny Bono act (Nicknamed the Mickey Mouse preservation act), stretching existing copyright to life plus 95, new works remain at life + 70.

Cost of copyright $60, plus 4 copies of the work. Cost of Patent, $2000 to 25K, depending on the uniqueness of the concept and the amount of legal work you can do yourself.


Pardon me but....RANT Anybody who thinks it's easier to create a new medical drug, a new custom-bred plant, a way to artifically maunfacture fine diamonds, ect. (and it <has> to be the <first> time the particular item has been done - no point for copycats) than to write a poem or a story or even a song, (like the 12 billionth love song) has a serious disconnect between their ears. And to think copyright deserves to be granted its ridiculous length as compared to patent is just plain $%$!@%^#$ WRONG!!! END RANT.

You my now return to your previously scheduled programming....
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:25 AM   #17
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I never claimed I was being reasonable, or was even stating a "position". My post was the tortured anguish of a mad, mad poet unsure of his place in this world.
Ooh! Ooh! I know this one!

1. Look down.
2. Notice your feet.
3. There you are!
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:33 AM   #18
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I can't see my feet!!

(I'm wearing shoes... I also now have REM in my head... 'stand in the place where you work')
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:34 AM   #19
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Maybe you'd know where you were if you stopped staring at that girl robot's... rivets.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:40 AM   #20
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I can't see my feet!!

(I'm wearing shoes... I also now have REM in my head... 'stand in the place where you work')
damned. now *i* have REM in my head too.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:02 AM   #21
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Maybe you'd know where you were if you stopped staring at that girl robot's... rivets.
Then never mind. Given the choice between a world with girl robots but where I never know where I am, and a world where I know I'm where girl robots are not, I prefer for the former.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:40 AM   #22
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I'm somewhat frightened that I understood that.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:46 AM   #23
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I knew you would. You've met my type before, I'm very sure: I don't want to discuss my issues, because you might cure me of them.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:50 AM   #24
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I don't want to discuss my issues, because you might cure me of them.
heaven forfend.
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Old 05-30-2008, 11:50 AM   #25
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That's tricky, because there are too many extenuating circumstances, including the rights of the artist. If I create a novel, copyright it, then decide to sit on it for 20 years, why should you be granted the right to just take it from me?
Ah, but if you never published it in the first place, we don't know about it
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Old 05-30-2008, 01:52 PM   #26
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Talking a modest proposal

Here’s how I see the problem:

Suppose you think Marc Bloch’s 1940 book (called, in English) _Strange Defeat_ is an important book and should be more widely available to scholars and available to anyone trying to understand the world. You want to publish it as an eBook so scholars can store it on their PCs and use it to research World War II, resistance movements, the uses and limits of intelligence gathering in war, ethics and war, the impact of mechanized mobility in war, etc. Who do you go to if you want to publish it as an eBook?

It was published in the US by W. W. Norton & Company, as a paperback, “by arrangement with Oxford University Press.” It has an introduction by Sir Maurice Powicke and a forward by Georges Altman. It was translated from the French by Gerard Hopkins, and written, of course, by Marc Bloch but kept hidden until after the Nazis were gone. Also, who owns the French copyright? Marc Bloch was murdered in 1944 and never received anything, not even recognition, for this work.

Here’s a proposed solution:

Governments should use new technology to resolve the issue. Why can’t they establish an on-line database of copyrights, give copyright holders a reasonable period to declare those copyrights they wish to preserve by inputting the copyright information to the database. If the publisher fails to declare a copyright then the author (or his/her estate) should be allowed a reasonable length of time to repossess the copyright to their own work. Copyrights to works that no one declares would be revoked: that is, would revert to the public domain.

The database would have to contain the type of copyright being declared, including such things as “Available in all forms and formats,” “available in English as paperback only,” “copyrighted in the public domain,” etc., indicating the copyright by nation. Then when someone wants to make a new edition of a book, play, song, etc., they can contact the copyright holder or, where feasible, find out where to send payments to the copyright holder for any work the publisher/copyright holder chose not to republish themselves. After all, the public purpose for granting copyrights is to encourage development of the arts and sciences.

As complicated as this sounds, it’s simpler than what we have now and should preserve everyone’s just rights, including the rights of the public.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:53 PM   #27
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Ah, but if you never published it in the first place, we don't know about it
Suppose Rowling just told the press that she'd written (and copywritten) a new Potter novel... and that she refused to release it. So: Now you know. Millions of people want the book that she won't release. Do you have the right to demand she release it? Does the government have the right to make her release it, or take it from her?

Thing is, the public simply doesn't have the right to take someone else's legally-owned property, and with very few exceptions, no right to tell them what they can or cannot do with it. Period.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 05-30-2008 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 05-30-2008, 05:58 PM   #28
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Suppose Rowling just told the press that she'd written (and copywritten) a new Potter novel... and that she refused to release it. So: Now you know. Millions of people want the book that she won't release. Do you have the right to demand she release it? Does the government have the right to make her release it, or take it from her?

Thing is, the public simply doesn't have the right to take someone else's legally-owned property, and with very few exceptions, no right to tell them what they can or cannot do with it. Period.
Luckily information is not property so your argument are bogus.
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Old 05-30-2008, 06:04 PM   #29
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My understanding of copyright (being from a purely lay pov) is that it exists to allow a person to create a piece of artistic work and then have control over it for the remainder of that person's life. Then the heirs to that estate have some time to benefit from the person's creativity vefore the work becomes in the public domain.

This is as it should be. I'm a world famous writer (of fantasy, obviously) I want to write but loathe fans. So I write and publish a few things, but don't put out the bulk of my work. Living off the proceeds of those few bits of deathless prose I deign to release.

When I die, my wife, breathing a heavy sigh of relief, then publishes as much of what I produced as quickly as possible to cash in on the treasure trove burried in my office. She gets to do this for a certain number of years before it no longer is covered by copyright.

My estate cashes in on my popularity to the extent that it develops a multinational megaconglomerate that rules the world with an iron fisted, evil intent. They get a has-been rock star to run for congress and then sponsor a bill that allows them to never, ever, risk anything of my work being in th public domain.

At what point did this turn into something wrong?

When you can answer that question, you truly understand comedy.

Or something like that.
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Old 05-30-2008, 07:00 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Suppose Rowling just told the press that she'd written (and copywritten) a new Potter novel... and that she refused to release it. So: Now you know. Millions of people want the book that she won't release. Do you have the right to demand she release it? Does the government have the right to make her release it, or take it from her?

Thing is, the public simply doesn't have the right to take someone else's legally-owned property, and with very few exceptions, no right to tell them what they can or cannot do with it. Period.
Governments take legally-owned property all the time, and vigorously defend their supposed right to do so. The City of Scottsdale basically turned half of my lot into a nature park without paying me a nickel, which is one reason I no longer live there. In truth, property ownership is a lot more complicated than that, and intellectual property more complicated still. There is such a thing as pre-emptive licensing (which can be seen as the government's insistence that people stop paralyzing a market and actually make money) and on the balance I think it's done far more good than harm.

In my view, copyright protection is basically a trade: The author agrees to make works available to the public for a fee, and the government puts its monopoly of power at the service of the author to protect his/her monopoly on selling that work. Sitting on a work unbalances that trade, and forces the public to pay the cost of enforcing a monopoly while getting nothing in return.

This applies to published works, and the notion of publishing a work is key. If Ms. Rowling wanted to keep her novel to herself without publishing it, that's fine, but the protection would not be copyright protection, since no copying was ever permitted at all. (I would think it would fall closer to the realm of trade secrets.)

The idea behind copyright is to keep authors prospering and the realm of knowledge and literature expanding. I'm completely fine with that, and I actually make a fair bit of money on my copyrights. I do not, however, object to a requirement that a work remain available (for a fee) to remain in copyright. The capital costs of print publishing made this impractical until very recently, but with services like Lulu and IUniverse now available, no work ever has to completely leave public access.

The notion that rightsholders might have to be forced to make money is an interesting one--but taxes pay for copyright's legal machinery. I think protection-for-availability is a damned fine trade.
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