Random Access Memories

January 23, 2008

Copyright Crap

by @ 1:18 am. Filed under Business, Crime & Justice, Personal, Politics

So let’s start off with facts.

In the USA the current Copyright “Law of the Land” is the “The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998”

Under this act as a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first.

Let’s think about this for a minute. The life of the author, plus 70 years.

Why, should it extend past the life of the author? I mean we’re protecting someone’s work, why should their heirs be able to rake in cash just because they got lucky about who their parents are?

Often we might hear statements like:

Current U.S. Copyright Law represents an attempt by Congress to balance the rights of creators and copyright proprietors with the rights of copyright users.”

But how can this be more of a lie? There is no “balance” here, the copyright holder has total rights over almost every single aspect of their work.

Now you might be saying “Well, do you think we should just screw anyone that creates anything?

And to that I ask, do you know how long copyright is in the constitution?

The copyright act of 1790 set a copyright on books maps and charts for a period of 14 years. Paintings, drawings and music were not even included until 1891.

Since Congress has steadily raised the term limit on copyright from the original 14 years to something around 150 years, copyright holders are being given what amounts to a property right on an installment plan. This is a straightforward plundering of the public domain in order to benefit a handful of large, copyright-rich corporations such as Disney and AOL Time Warner

Can you give me any logical reason to NOT go back to 14 years?

If you’re going to tell me “People would lose money”. Frankly, I don’t care, that’s like saying “Someone will not be as rich”, i’m not going to shed any tears because a creator’s children doesn’t get paid.

If people are only going to create things because they get paid endless streams of money to do so, maybe they should stop making things and leave that work up to the artists that do it because of an internal drive and desire to create their art.

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