Friday, July 13, 2007

The 14-year Copyright solution

On the legal side, there are two main problems with this information - patents and copyrights. In both cases there is... too much of everything, which is bad for creativity so necessary in the information and entertainment businesses.

More than individuals, it is big corporations who would like to enjoy benefits of almost eternal (as it seems now) copyright, paying their overpaid and under-worked staffers in comfort for as long as they can, long after the creator of the original work is dead.

Now, Cambridge University PhD candidate Rufus Pollock has used economics formulas to calculate the optimal level of copyright- finding that 14 years is the maximum term for granting copyright status.

Although, it is impossible that legislators (lobbied by corporations) would go in for this optimal level, it isn’t hard to point out entities that would like this to never happen – Walt Disney Corp., for example, is famous for having ‘forced’ into existence the Copyright Term Extension Act (also called the Mickey Mouse Protection Act) that made it possible for Disney to extend copyright on its brands such as Mickey Mouse for more time to come.

In short, the 14year copyright means hell for Copyright life-termers.

On the other hand there are publishers who are up in arms against Google’s Print project, which is digitizing mostly out-of-print books. In this case Publishers are protesting because without protest there is no fun, is there?

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