From: Fred Camper (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Oct 14 2010 - 18:31:44 PDT
I heard a talk by copyright lawyer Lawrence Lessig that's quote a propos here.
When he saw that the copyright to Mickey Mouse et al. was going to get
extended yet again, he made a proposal: to get an extension the owner
would have to register and pay a reasonable fee. His point is that the
fee would be immaterial to Disney and companies like it, but that
there are millions of objects out there, and this would include the
old newsreels and instructional films beloved of found footage users,
for which the copyright owner cannot even be located, or doesn't care
and wouldn't register, and that most such things could then become
public domain. The mad dog right wing corporate whores who are our US
congresspeople would not buy it.
Unfortunately the mad dog Bush right wingers on the Supreme Court
ignore the "original intent" of the Constitution that they say they
follow when it comes to the rights of corporations. It's a pretty good
guess that the framers' idea of "limited" times for copyrights did NOT
extend to 95 years!
By the way, I don't exactly think of myself as a "leftie" either. It
just simply isn't rational to make copyrights this long, and it's
contrary to the intent of the framers, who never intended them to
An interesting fact: if you are a publication who wants to run Martin
Luther King's famous "I have a dream" speech, you have to pay
thousands of dollars to his estate. Thus the speech is not reproduced
as often as it might be otherwise. WHAT???
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