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RE: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be uniform?
- To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Subject: RE: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be uniform?
- From: "Michael A Rolenz" <Michael.A.Rolenz(at)aero.org>
- Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 15:46:51 -0800
- Reply-To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
My problem isn't giving Tom Clancy his 28 yrs of copyright protection.
Look at Valley of the Dolls. IT's not even in print I think. Or how about
Johnathen Livingston Seagull? A few years of high income and then nothing.
My thought are more for the authors who manage to made a confortable
living because of the body of their work and maybe a few works made in
their prime. THere is no simple solution to this problem.
Don't expect to see much of a renaissance as people can build on existing
works. The ideas are not copyrighted. Nothing has ever stopped people from
making imitations- for literary works....software and the more
technological matters covered by copyright are a different matter. Those
are things that people can build on and I can't see that a 120yr term
promotes any progress.
The other problem I have with a 120yr term is that even paper doesn't last
that long! I content that it is sheer arrogance to assume such a term. The
only way a term such as that is viable is if it does become a monopoly as
Pre-Statutes of Anne
"Dean Sanchez" <DSanchez@fcci-group.com>
Sent by: email@example.com
11/12/01 12:39 PM
Please respond to dvd-discuss
Subject: RE: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be uniform?
Realistically, can anyone (including the RIAA or movie/TV industry)
creditably claim that an author or songwriter or screenwriter would
discontinue writing if the copyright period was 'only' 28 years? Or
that studios would refuse to make movies or music or publishers would
quit publishing works?
Envision this: Tom Clancy speaking to a reporter at the NY Times "Since
royalties on my writings would run out in 28 years, I've decided that
I'm going to quit writing. I couldn't make enough money to support
myself." What a joke.
My personal opinion is that society would see no reduction at all in the
development of creative works; to the contrary, we might see a new
renaissance as people are able to build on existing work.
Most creative people create because they have a drive to do so. Profit
may be one of the incentives to the creator of such works or inventions,
but not necessarily the primary one. The urge for recognition or to
discover or just the need to express oneself are all compelling reasons
for creation. I know a number of quite talented musicians and writers
that would love to make money off their work; however, the fact that
they make little or no money from their work doesn't stop them from
continuing to write and make music. They do it because they have a need
within themselves; making money would be icing on the cake.
John Zulauf wrote:
Having been Mr. Gilmore in a high school production of Mockingbird
(those full stage freezes for exposition are a pain if you get caught
with arm extended) I understand and agree with the value judgment
regarding Lee vs. (the very enjoyable) Clancy. However, I disagree
completely with you conclusion.
First, the dollar value of a longer Mockingbird copyright is nearly zero
-- thus we are grant almost nothing to the author and heirs. Second,
those dollar exchange for Mockingbird are coming almost exclusively from
the education sector -- the last place you want to tax, and one of the
most budget constrained in our culture. Thirdly, the cultural value of
the work militate for the EARLIER release from the bond of copyright,
not later. Finally the depth and controversy surrounding the work means
that it is exactly the sort of work that should NOT be in the hand of
the highest bidder -- where even "Hunchback" gets a happy ending thanks
to the disneyization of culture.
Let Clancy get his money in the first 28 years -- let Speilberg
rerelease E.T. for a 20th aniversary -- but then it is time for
As for terms 18-22yrs is a practical minimum (protecting the heirs of an
author into *their* majority and college). 50 years is past the maximum
22 (age at the end of formal education) +50 (proposed term of copyright)
= 72 ... well past the productive years of a generation subsequent to
the creation of the work. Even allowing for 12 (end of primary
eduction) + 50 (proposed term) = 62 ... again far outside the productive
heart of a generation. 50 years == 2 generations 20-25 == 1 generation.