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Re: [dvd-discuss] Eldred Amicus
On 28 May 2002 at 18:42, Scott A Crosby wrote:
Date sent: Tue, 28 May 2002 18:42:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: Scott A Crosby <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [dvd-discuss] Eldred Amicus
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> On Tue, 28 May 2002, Michael A Rolenz wrote:
> > I don't believe that it is the court's function to set the correct term of
> > copyright. It is the responsibility of Congress to do so. That does not mean
> > that the court cannot review and throw out an unreasonbable term. Mary Bono
> > can quote her good friend Jack Valenti who thinks it should be forever less a
> > day but the silver tonqued liar is not likely to get the USSC to agree. (Mary
> > Bono seems to have proven even more so than her late hubby that brains is not
> > a requirement for politics).
> > There are multiple factors that have to be taken into account.
> > 1. The duration must be long enough that the creator/publisher/distributer has
> > a reasonable expectation of a return.
> Given Time Value of Money, anything over 40 years might as well be nearly
> forever. The value of a thousand dollars in 40 years is about 40-60
> dollars now. (in constant dollars)
> There is some guidance in the Economicists Amicus that could strongly be
> read as a refutation of any term over 50 years.
> > 2. The duration must be long enough that the creator has an incentive and
> > income to produce more works.
> > 2a. One would like the duration to be long enough that the creator can
> > enjoy some benefits from their mature works in the old age (but this is
> > not a requirment only a desirement)
> I'm curious... Why? Shouldn't artists save for retirement like anyone
> else? Why doesn't this apply toward patents?
> I look at it this way.. If you don't save money from boom years for the
> lean years, like anyone else, you deserve what you get.
One big difference between copyright and patent is that the best patents
are used NOW. Also anyone who improves upon a patent can patent that too
(unlike copyright and derivative works). This is often not the case for
copyrights. Other than a few, most writers, composers, poets do not get a
boon year where their works rocket to the top of the NYT Best Sellers and
they have so much they can't figure out what to do with it (If Clancy dies a
pauper's his own fault..but most don't have that choise). For many authors, it
may take years or decades for it to be appreciated to the point that they are
getting any money to save. SO too for some of the derivative works. A novel
that did not sell well may be the basis for a great screenplay. In some
instances, prolific authors have ceased writing by the time
that their work gets recognized. This is particularly true of genre writers.
I view this more of a desirement. Even if the author doesn't have a boon year
but does have a few decades of good solid work that produces a steady income I
can't see that anything beyond 50 yrs is a reasonable term. Most likely they
are dead, the spouse has had some income and some people may be interested in
the work...as for the children and grandchildren - the useless parasites should
learn a useful trade such as ditch digging.
> > 3. THe duration must be short enough that the works have SOME utility,
> > worth, value and PEOPLE WANT them at the end of the copyright term. (e.g.,
> > Disney only signed the contract for WInnie the Pooh with the contingency that
> > the CTEA was approved....considering how much money they spent on CTEA does
> > bribery mean anything?)
> I look at anything over 40-50 years as being unreasonable..
> BUT, I might be willing to go for life+10 years for unpublished works,
> because they tend to not be commercially signifigant, and there are
> private works that shouldn't become public till 10 years after the
> authors death.
That's one of the few things about the copyright reforms and WIPO
recommendations that I do think is reasonable. THe copyright system, pre -1976
was well thought out for administration except in this matter. 10 yrs from
death too much of a burden to edit/publish. And, I don't see it as onerous to
grant copyright from death plus 10 yrs for a fixed duration as a new work.