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[dvd-discuss] Eldred Amicus
- To: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Subject: [dvd-discuss] Eldred Amicus
- From: John Schulien <jms(at)uic.edu>
- Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 00:02:24 -0500
- Reply-to: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
> The natural counter argument, however, is
> that authors who are in the process of writing
> a manuscript, or who are shopping it around to
> different publishers, may have their work
> published without their permission if it isn't
> copyrighted from the instant the pen touches
> the paper.
> To prevent this, I think we will have to resurrect
> the common law copyright that vanished in 1976,
> or suggest a better statutory solution
> than presently exists.
A practical statutory solution might be to have an
automatic grant of copyright from the moment
when pen meets paper, as we have now, but only
for a short time, say, 14 years.
Anyone who wanted a copyright to last past that
short time would have to engage in pre-1976
style registration, marking, and renewal
procedures. Renewal terms would be limited to
14 years, but instead of just one term, there
might be several consecutive terms.
Such a system would both protect authors
from unscrupulous publishers -- by making
copyright automatic on creation -- and also
protect and expand the public domain by
requiring a renewal action periodically -- thus
eliminating abandoned or commercially worthless
copyrights -- without resorting to common-law
copyright to protect authors while they are
shopping around manuscripts.