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Old 12-15-2018, 03:45 PM   #46
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Interesting and intelligent comments. It would certainly be feasible to carve out at least most major properties by reference to the amount of revenue during the initial period. Do you see any benefit to doing this other than to make it politically possible. Leaving the rights holders there big money makers in return for their acquiescence. This alone would be quite adequate justification on the basis that it would still be a very significant improvement on the existing situation.

Also, any particular reason for 27 years? My suggestion of 10 was based on my understanding that most books have made virtually all of the revenue they are going to make well within the first 5 years, though on reflection this may no longer be true now books need never go "out of print".
Right, Ralph Sir Edward is correct. I simply picked that because it was the copyright period for much of the US history. 10 years may make more sense now in the quicker paced world than it did back in the 1800's when things moved at a much slower pace.

I see no benefit other that making it politically possible. My two competing concerns are getting the author as much money as possible and making sure the books are widely available. I do think that the pendulum has gone way too far in the copyright holders direction and there needs to be a correction. I do like the idea of books going into a licensing arrangement after a given amount of time. There are no perfect solutions that everyone is going to agree on. I wish there were.
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:48 PM   #47
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But Mickey Mouse has clearly been used as a trademark (along with Tinkerbell) for decades and is still used today. I think Disney would win that one. . .
Logic and law don't always mix. It's what you can convince a judge of, not what makes sense to a layman.
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Old 12-15-2018, 07:33 PM   #48
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I see no benefit other that making it politically possible. My two competing concerns are getting the author as much money as possible and making sure the books are widely available. I do think that the pendulum has gone way too far in the copyright holders direction and there needs to be a correction. I do like the idea of books going into a licensing arrangement after a given amount of time. There are no perfect solutions that everyone is going to agree on. I wish there were.
I thought this was the case. It would be a small price to pay for making it politically possible if it did have that effect. Your competing concerns and mine are the same. And unfortunately the way the system has developed has resulted in its domination by usually large corporate rights owners who work against both aims.
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:29 PM   #49
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10 years may make more sense now in the quicker paced world than it did back in the 1800's when things moved at a much slower pace.
And yet copyright duration has been monotonically increasing.

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Logic and law don't always mix.
I see. Nevermind.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:06 AM   #50
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It changed in 1995.
Why did they change it? I know in the U.S. that it was (if I remember right) a matter of protecting copyrighted materials i.e. Mickey Mouse and such.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:09 AM   #51
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Right, Ralph Sir Edward is correct. I simply picked that because it was the copyright period for much of the US history. 10 years may make more sense now in the quicker paced world than it did back in the 1800's when things moved at a much slower pace.

I see no benefit other that making it politically possible. My two competing concerns are getting the author as much money as possible and making sure the books are widely available. I do think that the pendulum has gone way too far in the copyright holders direction and there needs to be a correction. I do like the idea of books going into a licensing arrangement after a given amount of time. There are no perfect solutions that everyone is going to agree on. I wish there were.
Having a limit on the copyright period would also stimulate the author's to write more, quicker I would think. I mean if you have 5 books say that are making money now (8 yrs in) but will be out of copyright in another 2 yrs you know that you have to write something new to keep the income flowing in.
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Old 12-16-2018, 05:38 AM   #52
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Why did they change it? I know in the U.S. that it was (if I remember right) a matter of protecting copyrighted materials i.e. Mickey Mouse and such.
To bring UK copyright law into compliance with the rest of the EU.
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Old 12-16-2018, 06:09 AM   #53
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Having a limit on the copyright period would also stimulate the author's to write more, quicker I would think. I mean if you have 5 books say that are making money now (8 yrs in) but will be out of copyright in another 2 yrs you know that you have to write something new to keep the income flowing in.
There is the law of unintended consequences. Would shorter copyright terms mean that publishing and being an author become more unprofitable? Would people be more willing to wait for something to go into PD rather than pay for it now?

At one time, the vast majority of books made sold most of what they were going to sell within the first several months of release. This was because of the limited shelf space in book stores. After a few months, any left got toss and the cover sent to the publisher for refund to make room for the next set of new books. I suspect that ebooks and Amazon changed that dynamics. Also, consider series. Would authors write series if they knew that by the time they finish the series that book 1 would be in PD?

I personally like the idea of having a short period of automatic copyright protection followed by a much longer period where the copyright had to be renewed for a small fee on a yearly basis which is used to maintain a copyright database. I would also support the idea that to maintain a copyright after the short automatic period, the author has to provide an electronic copy of the work in a given format or formats. Once the work goes into PD, anyone can get a copy of that electronic copy. I would even throw in that all works of a given author would be renewed on the anniversary of the author's first work, so the author wouldn't have to remember a bunch of renewal dates.

Of course, the real issue is that once someone has something, they are going to fight to keep it and there isn't really anyone fighting to take it from them. That's the political issue.
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Old 12-16-2018, 06:14 AM   #54
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I think the major problem with a variable copyright is how to know if a work is in copyright or not.
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Old 12-16-2018, 03:18 PM   #55
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To bring UK copyright law into compliance with the rest of the EU.
So when we leave the EU, it might revert back?!
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Old 12-17-2018, 04:38 AM   #56
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So when we leave the EU, it might revert back?!
When we leave the EU, we'll only be bound by the Berne convention, so we could change our copyright laws back to life + 50.

But

(a) it seems unlikely that copyright reform will be high on any givernment's agenda
(b) there would be large amounts of lobbying from 'big media' against it
(c) copyright length might be a condition of trade deals, especially with USA.
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Old 12-17-2018, 02:04 PM   #57
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Oh . . . did you have to burst my bubble?
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:23 PM   #58
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Oh . . . did you have to burst my bubble?
Here in NZ we still have Life+50 but just about lost it when the original Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement was negotiated a couple of years back as the USA was one of the partners and demanded it. Fortunately Mr. Trump came into power and withdrew the USA from the proposed agreement before it was implemented so the new agreement, sans USA, allowed us to stay at +50.

For NZ the economic analysis for going from +50 to +70 showed that a net loss to the economy would occur; that outcome may be different in some other countries but many people do not realize that the economic effects of copyright are not always positive.

Australia became +70 when they negotiated their trade agreement with the USA some years back and I suspect that the UK will likely have to stay with +70, even if it wanted to change, in its trade agreement with USA after Brexit.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:47 PM   #59
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Here in NZ we still have Life+50 but just about lost it when the original Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement was negotiated a couple of years back as the USA was one of the partners and demanded it. Fortunately Mr. Trump came into power and withdrew the USA from the proposed agreement before it was implemented so the new agreement, sans USA, allowed us to stay at +50.
Yay, thanks for confirming this, AnotherCat
I thought it might have been so
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Old 12-17-2018, 07:57 PM   #60
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Yay, thanks for confirming this, AnotherCat
I thought it might have been so
Although we are not out of the woods completely on this as there is supposedly a free trade agreement with USA somewhere in the outer wings. However, the scenery seems to indicate this is not now moving with any priority on the US side due to slurs cast at them by our current leadership and the political divide (so can't even get rid of quickly the recently applied US tariffs on NZ aluminum), and other matters (e.g. we are small fry compared to, say, the US's interest in UK trade).
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