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The Almighty Buck Media Music

EU Proposes Retroactive Copyright Extension 514

Posted by samzenpus
from the nothing-lasts-forever dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has unveiled a plan to retroactively extend musical copyrights by 45 years, which would make EU musical copyrights last 95 years total. Why? They're worried that musicians won't continue to collect royalties when they retire and this will give them an additional 45 years during which they won't have to produce any new music. Perhaps the only good point is that the retroactive extensions won't take effect for any works which aren't marketed in the first year after the extension. Additionally, while there are many non-musical retirees wishing they could get paid for 95 years after they finish working, McCreevy has not announced any new plans to help them."
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EU Proposes Retroactive Copyright Extension

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  • by clang_jangle (975789) * on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:15AM (#24224767) Journal
    Plain old "musicians" rarely recieve royalties; royalties are generally paid to songwriters and publishers. Of course usually those royalties end up getting paid to the Big Media companies that manage to obtain ownership of the copyrights and publishing, not to the artists. But "think of the poor, aging artists!" probably elicits a bit more sympathy than "think of the record companies!".
    • by TRRosen (720617) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:27AM (#24224829)
      Exactly. Artists never get any money from royalties after the first few years because the labels take most of it through creative bookkeeping. The artists only get money when there's a lot coming in.

      Add to that the fact that most new artists lose all there copyrights to the labels by contract and you'll find the only ones not getting screwed by the extension is the labels. Infact for the most part many artists will lose more money since the labels "own" most of their songs they will have to pay royalties to the labels every time the perform them!!!

      • by Godji (957148) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @04:40AM (#24225275) Homepage
        Who the hell modded you funny of all things?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DrEldarion (114072)

      As the internet changes the face of music distribution and marketing and artists start to distribute independently of the major labels, this will be a good thing. Artists should continue to receive compensation for their creations for as long as people are enjoying them (though copyrights should probably be released after the artists' deaths).

      • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:40AM (#24224911) Homepage

        Artists should continue to receive compensation for their creations for as long as people are enjoying them?

        Why? Copyright is not some kind of inalienable natural right. It was never even thought up until a couple of hundred years ago. In ancient Rome, when poets' recitations were transcribed, mass-copied by amanuenses, and sold in the marketplace, they never saw a dime in royalties, but it didn't bother them. The only protest we hear from antiquity is when Martial lampooned a talentless aristocrat who was putting his own name on copies of Martial's verse. The American Founding Fathers enshrined copyright in law because they thought it was good for the public, not because people have some absolute right to it. And the concept is very eurocentric, for outside the West, to this very day, copyright makes absolutely no sense. Try explaining to a person in Eastern Europe, Asia, or South America that they are doing something wrong by downloading or copying a CD, and they will look at you like you're a lunatic.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zippthorne (748122)

        No, copyrights should always be a fixed term. Otherwise, the artists couldn't sell the rights to another entity because there'd always be that lingering risk the artist would die the day after they ink the contract, making the rights just purchased worthless.

        Further, artists late in life would not be able to receive the "full" compensation they are entitled to by selling in one-lump sum because actuarial tables would highlight the risk mentioned in the previous paragraph, and that means they probably would

      • by Znork (31774) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @04:40AM (#24225271)

        for as long as people are enjoying them

        Why? Chairmakers don't receive compensations for as long as people are enjoying their chairs. Builders don't receive compensation for as long as people enjoy their houses.

        How about this; people get paid for working, and the state interfering in the market to create monopolies favouring certain classes of work is a particularly bad idea.

        If you want to argue for why certain groups need extra support, be intellectually honest and handle it as an ordinary welfare system. If you think creative work is particularly heavy and dangerous, or particularly valuable to society, perhaps they should get a lower retirement age? Argue the case and fund it through ordinary state budgets, not hidden away in the uncounted taxation of intellectual monopoly rights.

    • by symbolset (646467) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:31AM (#24224853) Journal

      Here's a novel idea: abolish copyright. [abolishcopyright.com]. We should act now before this gets even more dumb.

  • Enforce it how? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damburger (981828) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:17AM (#24224775)
    They can claim copyright for a bazillion years, still won't address the issue that it is impossible to enforce without crushing peoples freedom of speech. Knowing the EU, which is every bit as much a tool of business as the US government, they will do exactly that.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:17AM (#24224779) Homepage Journal
    since if music is freely available to everyone, the government cannot tax the sales or the income of the artist.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:24AM (#24224817)
      I reside in the European Union and listen mainly to recordings of contemporary art music that were produced with the aid of state subsidies, since they probably wouldn't be profitable on their own. Even if the government taxes the sale of the CD, it's still a net loss for them. Governments here have no qualm with offering free music. Their support of the arts is one thing that keeps quality of life constantly high here.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ZombieWomble (893157)
        Governments have no qualms with offering some free music, I'm sure. But I'd be willing to wager that the income they derive from taxes on the various bits of the entertainment industry which would be affected by an abolition of copyright is orders of magnitude greater than whatever it is they give to support music as art.
  • by feedayeen (1322473) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:22AM (#24224805)
    With a 50 year long copyright, if I produced a song as a teenager, I would still own the rights even after the time that I am eligible for my pension. With a 95 year long copyright, if I produced a song, the recording industry would be profiting off of my works for decades after I am dead.
  • Retirement (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Deltaspectre (796409) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:25AM (#24224819)

    Dang, I wish I could make money for free after my retirement :(

    I should see if my boss wants to consider paying me after I go so I have an extra 45 years I won't have to do any sysadmin work

  • by NoobixCube (1133473) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:30AM (#24224841) Journal
    Your average musician would attain fame close to 20 or later (unless they're child-stars). 95 years after that extends revenue to the age of 115, while most people don't live past 80 or 90; if the much-publicised lives of today's musicians are anything to go by, a lot of them won't make it past 50. I refuse to pay just because someone's arrogant-bastard children think they deserve money because their father wrote a song that sold well.
  • by cliffski (65094) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:31AM (#24224843) Homepage

    In other news, people whose great great grandfathers fenced off land and invested in *property* retain the ownership to it still, despite having died many years ago.
    Nobody shows any sign of caring that they can inherit property which they contributed *nothing* towards, and have full expectation of leaving that same property to their children.
    yet if that property is intellectual rather than physical, there is huge outcry.
    Why the double standard?

    because a big chunk of many populations expect to benefit from inheriting daddy's house, whereas the people who benefit from IP are a smaller number, and thus easily attacked.

    All earnings from old IP are taxed. All earnings from property are taxed. What is the difference here?

    • by TorKlingberg (599697) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:36AM (#24224883)
      The concept of "intellectual property" is the problem. The phrase was made up to make it seem like a right rather than a temporary government granted monopoly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BrentH (1154987)
        Maybe the concept of 'property' is the underlying problem? The problems with such a thing as landowners are obvious (Feudal age anyone)?
    • by Baldur_of_Asgard (854321) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:42AM (#24224915)
      Difference 1: If I graze my cattle on your ranch, you will not be able to make use of your ranch - but if I sing a song that you wrote, you will still be able to sing that song.

      Difference 2: If you sell me your ranch, the ranch is mine to do with as I please. If you sell me your song, shouldn't the song be mine to do with as I please? After some profitability, songs and other intellectual property should go into the public domain, especially if a large portion of the public have paid for it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KDR_11k (778916)

        If I graze my cattle on your ranch, you will not be able to make use of your ranch - but if I sing a song that you wrote, you will still be able to sing that song.

        Depends on what you see as the purpose of the property. If the purpose of the ranch is to graze cattle, yes, it's being denied to you but if you just use it as a vacation home where's the damage? If the purpose of the song is that you just want to sing it there's no damage but if the purpose was to make money then someone else sharing free copies

    • the difference is, if i take your physical property, you have less.

      if i take your intellectual property, you lose nothing.

      bytes are not atoms.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by apathy maybe (922212)

      Yeah, actually there are heaps of people who objected to the fencing off of common land, and now there are heaps of people who object to inheritance. I can't think of any good reasons for inheritance beyond a certain amount, and I fully support the community "inheriting" anything beyond that certain amount.

      (In the present shitty system that would amount to what is sometimes called a "death tax", but it isn't a tax, because the dead stop being taxed when they die. Just like the dead stop having rights when t

    • by silentbozo (542534) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @04:24AM (#24225185) Journal
      I don't know how it is where you are, but physical property here in the US is taxed apart from the income you earn from that income.

      In other words, even if the land is just sitting there, you still get taxed on it. If you don't pay the tax, the government seizes the property and sells it off to someone who will. Remember, this is completely apart from the income tax applied to any revenue you generate from the property, whether it's from building a house and renting it out, farming it, grazing animals on it, or paving it over and charging people to park on it.

      There is no double standard because intellectual "property" isn't real property. There's a lot of impetus to treat it that way because there are a lot of business models built on being able to buy, sell, rent, and re-exploit movies, music, and writing, completely ignoring the fact that:

      1. While they like to treat it as real property, real property doesn't expire after a set period of time. Anyone stupid enough to build a business model assuming an asset that is supposed to become free after a set period of time is going to retain value forever deserves to lose their investment.

      2. The ability to control the property exclusively is a monopoly (generally a bad thing) granted by the government, as a trade off - we give you a monopoly for the time being, in exchange for you making the property available to the public, and ultimately part of the public domain when the monopoly ends.

      3. Traditionally, there was no such thing as "intellectual property". If you saw some something cool and wanted your own copy, you'd copy it or hire someone to make you a copy. If you heard a great story, you'd retell it. This is why guilds formed - to protect "guild secrets", and create a competitive advantage for guild members. The problem is, anyone who was really innovative would more often than not, refuse to share their new process, forcing other people to have to rediscover the secret, a horrible waste of time and energy. To get rid of this waste, promote innovation, and enable those innovations to become public so that they're not lost, the idea of patents and copyrights was born.

      4. Patents and copyrights are used today to print money, quash innovation by other people, and bribe politicians to extend monopolies (generally a bad thing) indefinitely, at the expense of the public. Because they don't have to pay property tax, they can sit indefinitely on IP and just sue anyone who starts making money on something that does or might infringe on it. You should either get a limited monopoly to exploit your work, or if you want to hold onto it forever, you should be required to pay property taxes on it as a royalty to the public who are guaranteeing your monopoly. Consider all the governmental resources that have been diverted by private parties to enforcing ever longer copyrights in court, and on the streets.

      So to answer your question, there's a huge difference between how IP and real property are treated. There is no double standard. The fact that you think there is one is a strong indication of how badly the public has been misled about how copyrights and patents are supposed to work.
    • by seifried (12921) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @04:38AM (#24225259) Homepage
      Actually you don't own your property in the truest sense of the word (yes technically I acknowledge that you own and possibly have possession of it). Ultimately the government owns your land. Just stop paying the land or property taxes and this point will be made abundantly clear. Now if a copyright holder had to pay a yearly fee based on the value (either intrinsic, or perhaps market or realized, something along those lines) of the work in question to keep the copyright I'd be a lot more supportive of copyright laws.
    • by Tom (822) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @07:15AM (#24225955) Homepage Journal

      yet if that property is intellectual rather than physical, there is huge outcry.
      Why the double standard?

      Because intellectual "property" isn't. It has none of the elements that make up "property" in physical things. Most importantly, it is not exclusive.

      People fend off, fight for and die for land because if you use it, then I can't. That's not true of music, we can both have a copy of the same song and be happy.

      That's why the double standard.

  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:39AM (#24224903)
    Ireland had a declining population for years (not owing to the Troubles; it was the South that was declining, not the North) due to the endemic corruption, lack of personal freedom, and poor educational opportunities. Think Iran without funny hats, and with the Catholic Church in the Shia role, and you about have it. Then they came up with two wheezes: no tax for artists, to try and encourage them to live (or more correctly officially live) there, and a complete free for all based on EU money, which transferred taxpayers money from the rest of the EU to some very, very nasty criminal gangs with connections at the highest level of government. If you doubt this, look at what happened to investigative journalists like Guerin and Taoiseachs like Bertie Ahearn.

    The upshot is that shills like McCreevy are trying to keep the artists on board by proposing that they get something which no other professional gets, (if 95 years copyright for a writer, why not 95 years for a patent?) hoping that Ireland will benefit in some way from tax collection. Apple is also strongly represented In Ireland and can presumably afford lobbyists.

    The economic downturn and the gradual ending of EU structural funding (supposedly for building railways and roads but actually diverted to building country houses for the rich Irish) is putting a strain on the Irish economy. They need the money

    • Please go and learn some recent Irish history. And please note that I am not being anti-Irish. You will see I have confined myself to comments on Irish politicians, priests and gangsters. All my comments can be verified by mainstream sites on the Internet. The difference now is that the Internet, the lack of support among the younger Irish for the Church, and the growing pressure from the EU, are all making it hard to keep the corruption concealed. Which is why the Taoiseach has had to step down.
    • by PinkyDead (862370) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @07:04AM (#24225903) Journal

      The facts that you've bundled together there are about as completely wrong as you could get.

      Ireland had a declining population for years (not owing to the Troubles; it was the South that was declining, not the North) due to the endemic corruption, lack of personal freedom, and poor educational opportunities.

      The corruption was a symptom of a high tax economy which was in turn a symptom of bad economic management during hard times. As far as educational opportunities were concerned Ireland had, in spite of itself and taking into account its size, one of the best education systems in the world - which is seen as one of the major contributors to its recent success.

      I'll give you the Iran thing. It's probably not completely far from the truth - certainly up to late '80s.

      The two schemes that you mention have absolutely nothing to do with Ireland's success. If I may, I would suggest that it was caused by (1) Technically educated workforce at the same time as the Internet got big (2) Low corporate tax rate (3) English speaking (4) Heavily committed to EU and Euro (5) Very business friendly politically (6) Zero tolerance of corruption and (7) the Good weather?.

      If you doubt this, look at what happened to investigative journalists like Guerin and Taoiseachs like Bertie Ahearn.

      The criminal gangs in Ireland existed like in any other country. And like in other countries Veronica Guerin was shot because she was investigating them - nothing special there.

      Bertie on the other hand had no criminal connections. His problems came because he divorced his wife and was basically taken to the cleaners. Individual businessmen gave him a ton of cash to help him out - unfortunately at the same time Bertie pontificated in the Dail (parliment) that it was reprehensible that any politician should be beholden to outside interests. And unfortunately he got caught - it was illegal, but not in the 'Criminal gangs' sense.

      The upshot is that shills like McCreevy are trying to keep the artists on board by proposing that they get something which no other professional gets, (if 95 years copyright for a writer, why not 95 years for a patent?) hoping that Ireland will benefit in some way from tax collection. Apple is also strongly represented In Ireland and can presumably afford lobbyists.

      Charlie McCreevy is just doing his job - as Commissioner for Internal Markets, and most other countries reckon he's doing OK at it. He's applying his own philosophy to it which is very much pro IP rights - which is why he's a darling of Microsoft and the Record Companies. (I'm not saying I agree with him).

      As you say in Ireland there is no tax for artists - but that means no revenue for government, so that point is a contradiction. There also aren't any record companies her - so you're 0 for 2 there.

      The economic downturn and the gradual ending of EU structural funding (supposedly for building railways and roads but actually diverted to building country houses for the rich Irish) is putting a strain on the Irish economy. They need the money.

      The downturn in Ireland is, like everywhere else, caused by a combination of High Oil Prices, Low Consumer Confidence and a Global Credit Crunch. Nothing to do with structural funding, which did make a lot of people rich, as you would expect - but not in the corrupt way you are suggesting.

      Ireland needs to pay for a very high public service bill - but that will need to be achieved by cutting the bill, not by getting a few more quid off an aging Bono.

  • The Plan! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dbIII (701233) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @03:44AM (#24224933)
    1/ Take an existing song.

    2/ Alter the words.

    3/ Copyright it and give no credit to the original author.

    4/ Charge huge royalty payments for casual use or even small portions.

    5/ The estate collects the money for the next 95 years! Happy Birthday To You (c)

    Some will argue that it is the "American Way" to do such fencing off of various praries and certainly many have become rich by poineering ways to make money out of what was free before. It is really no more the American way than selling wildcat claims with a single seeded gold nugget for the mark to find or selling the deeds to public bridges. It is disturbing that this behaviour is getting exported to Europe.

  • No pensions? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zog The Undeniable (632031) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @04:04AM (#24225077)

    So they should have invested some of the money while they were making it, instead of spending it on Colombian marching powder, groupies and hotel room repairs.

    Everyone else has to save for a pension or end up on income support. Why not musicians?

  • by archeopterix (594938) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @05:07AM (#24225399) Journal
    Hey, this wasn't in the deal. The artists produced artwork, the society, represented by the government, granted them X years temporary monopoly as reward/incentive to contribute to the public domain.

    Now they (the copyright lobby) want to break that deal by lobbying the gov't to retroactively extend the monopoly by Y years. Now tell me again, why should I respect the deal when the other side doesn't?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Now tell me again, why should I respect the deal when the other side doesn't?

      bingo. that's what kids today see. they know that the other guys have been dishonest for a long, long time. so why should they follow 'their' rules when its not a fair game from the start?

      I stopped buying 'new' music a long time ago. lately, I've rediscovered buying used cd's and ripping them myself. not only does this give me control over the drm and bit-quality, but it also keeps ALL the money away from the entertainment ind

      • by Tim C (15259) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @08:50AM (#24226643)

        bingo. that's what kids today see.

        I very much doubt that the average kid sees anything other than the chance to get stuff for free with little or no fear of being caught. In fact given that it's so prevalent, I expect they don't even consciously register that they're doing anything wrong (in any sense, morally or legally)

        Honestly, in my experience very few people outside of slashdot think about it *at all*. As much as we like to think that most people are sticking it to the man because of industry corruption and deal-breaking, it really isn't like that.

  • by Detritus (11846) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @05:09AM (#24225409) Homepage
    Who is going to benefit from this? From what I've read, this was the era in which it was common for record producers to acquire all rights to the song in exchange for a flat fee.
  • by Aceticon (140883) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @05:21AM (#24225463)

    ... it would give even more power to the European Commission.

    They're a bunch of unelected bureaucrats which do not in any way consider the interests of the EU citizens but instead bend over backwards to serve the interests of those corporation which will give them well paid jobs once they've done their time in the European Commission.

    (notice how all help-the-industry-f**k-the-consumers proposals of late have come from the commission)

    Good thing the Irish brought down the sham attempt at bringing back the EU constitution through the back door that was the Lisbon Treaty.

    The funny part is that I'm actual pro-EU and actually feel European. The concept is good, it's just that some EU institutions are degraded and corrupt and need to be eliminated or thoroughly remade.

    We need elected legislators instead of these puppets.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The funny part is that I'm actual pro-EU and actually feel European. The concept is good, it's just that some EU institutions are degraded and corrupt and need to be eliminated or thoroughly remade. We need elected legislators instead of these puppets.

      Indeed. The Lisbon treaty was also a legalese mess, so I didn't want it for that reason either. When some politicians speak of the "irish slap in the face" and somehow challenging the will of the people and make Ireland vote again or some such shit, my blood

  • by atlep (36041) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @05:28AM (#24225487)

    Fine by me. It's not the length of the copyright that is the problem, it's how the copyright laws extends into peoples private lives.

    In a commercial situation, I support that the artists should have control over their music. But in a private situation, where no one is making a living out of the music, the copyright should not apply.

  • by bestinshow (985111) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @06:00AM (#24225643)

    Why can someone sit down, drink, take drugs, have groupies and make money for 95 years from a few songs, whilst other people educate themselves, invent something, and only get the right to make money on their invention for 15-20 years afterwards?

    Long copyright terms don't encourage the people with the skills to continually create artistic works of benefit to society and culture. Copyright doesn't exist to benefit the creator of a work of art, it exists to benefit society as a whole by giving incentive to create art.

    The actual truth of the matter is that people would actually still create music, art, stories, etc if there was no copyright concept. In addition, the creators would still benefit a lot from creating - people still prefer to see Iron Maiden live rather than tribute bands like High On Maiden, for example. Performances are where the money is for full time bands as well.

    All of these people who raked in money from when they were big should have put some aside for their retirement, like EVERYBODY ELSE has to.

  • by xalorous (883991) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @06:04AM (#24225669) Journal

    Songwriters should receive royalties from the use of their songs.
    Recording artists should receive royalties from the use of their recordings.

    Record companies should receive income when someone buys a record from them.

    Problem is, the record companies give the artists such a small cut, which is reduced again by the agents and managers.

    50 years is stupid. 95 is idiotic. 30 years would be enough for the recording artists who make a song famous to get a cut from a remake a generation later. I think maybe songwriter copyrights should be for life.

    Copyright wasn't meant to allow artists to retire from a single success. It was meant for artists to turn their single success into a means of independent support while they work on the next one. 10 years would be sufficient for this.

    Copyrights should not be transferrable. They should not be held by companies. Nor by heirs.

  • "stealing" music (Score:4, Interesting)

    by seeker_1us (1203072) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @06:24AM (#24225739)

    The big music companies are always complaining about "stealing" music.

    The purpose of copyright was to give a limited monopoly to the creator for a certain time, after which the work was to become public domain.

    So by paying the politicians to extend copyright lengths over and over, aren't they using the legal system to steal the public domain music from us?

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @06:36AM (#24225797)

    Why not have indefinite copyright?

    Many people are exploiting the works of the greats, like Chaucer and Shakespeare, without offering a nickle to their estates. Some of the worse offenders are theaters and schools, who greedily steal this work to enrich the lives of theatergoers and teenagers. Such self-centred and exploitive behaviours have to stop. Copyrights must be extended eternally, and it must be done retroactively so that the estates of great writers from any member of the EU can seek damages for decades, centuries, and even millenia. /sarcasm

  • WTF?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Digital Vomit (891734) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @07:09AM (#24225923) Homepage Journal

    They're worried that musicians won't continue to collect royalties when they retire

    They shouldn't. No one should be paid for doing nothing. They should save their money for retirement like the rest of us.

    Copyright needs to be reduced or abolished, not extended!

  • Different slant (Score:4, Informative)

    by smoker2 (750216) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @07:20AM (#24225973) Homepage Journal
    The Register had this yesterday, but with a different slant on the proceedings.
    In summary, this is not about the songs but the performers themselves.See here [theregister.co.uk], here [europa.eu] and here [europa.eu]
  • by Lars T. (470328) <Lars DOT Traeger AT googlemail DOT com> on Thursday July 17, 2008 @07:29AM (#24226015) Journal
    It's people like you who force the Rolling Stones to stay in business until Jagger has to come on stage with a walker.
  • by Badmovies (182275) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @07:57AM (#24226183) Homepage

    From a fair use essay I wrote:

    Society benefits the most when something that is created is in the public domain, meaning that nobody holds a copyright. Society, as a whole, owns the work. Shakespeare's plays, most of the writings of Mark Twain, and music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach are in the public domain. Everyone is free to create alternate versions, perform them, or even make a movie with them without getting permission or paying royalties.

    However, society also recognizes that people might not have any reason to write books, make movies, or sing songs if everyone else can immediately copy their work. Copyright is a carrot offered by society to help promote the creation of new works. When you get down to it, society is saying, "We understand that there must be some reason for you to create. If you create something, then cannot benefit from it, you will not have a reason to create more works. So, to encourage you, here is a limited period of protection so that you might benefit."

    Emphasis on the limited.

  • by GauteL (29207) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @08:13AM (#24226331)

    When these works were created, the copyright holders were granted a certain time of exclusivity over this abstract creation. After this period, the exclusitivity would ceise and the public could utilise them as they pleased.

    The idea was that this would provide incentive for people to create works of art, literature, music, etc. Many people accepted this idea, knowing that after some years of exclusivity it would again go back to the public, so that they could be enjoyed, reproduced and built upon as anyone saw fit. Without this right people like Shakespeare and Disney would not have been able to produce their works without permission and licensing.

    If the period is extended retroactively for works beyond what the original period was, this is essentially taking rights away from the public for no reason other than to line the pockets of the already super wealthy.

    Can anyone actually reasonably argue that further incentives in terms of extensions of exclusivity periods would generate better works of art and literature.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday July 17, 2008 @08:38AM (#24226553) Homepage Journal
    Copyright was never meant to be a permanent meal ticket. Especially not for some corporation. You fucking fucker.

    That is all.

Don't steal; thou'lt never thus compete successfully in business. Cheat. -- Ambrose Bierce

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