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RE: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be uniform?

On Wed, 7 Nov 2001, Michael A Rolenz wrote:

>Not a good idea. That assumes that the only thing worthy of copyright 
>protection is something that makes money. So bestselling authors/peformers 

I didn't say that it was bug-free.  The thing is that commercially viable 
products ARE getting obscene amounts of copyright protection, yet the 
authors recieve practically nothing.  In retrospect, I think I really 
should've done an inverse dependency, but that still leaves the corner 
case of non-commercial works.  That is, 100% authors share of 0 profits.  
Basically, what I'm thinking of is a formula that runs a twofold 
dependency: corps that cheat authors out of their fair share of profits 
MUST pay big time to renew a copyright and must be denied copyright 
protection if the author's share ever gets to be effectively zero, but 
authors that freely give out stuff must pay a trivial amount to renew, or 
none at all.  


Where profit must be obtained via GAAP might do the trick, but even GAAP 
allows for "creative financing"...

>deserver copyright but the lesser don't....that's not a particualary fair 
>or equitable arragnement. I think Macauley's arguments are still sound. 
>Set the term. Make it long enough but not excessively so and don't mess 
>with it again! It's such a simple approach and anyone can understand it 
>and the government can administer it too.

Part of this thread is that meaningful times for one category may not be 
meaningful for all.  A chip mask for the 80486 is not useful now less 
than ten years after its creation, while a novel may very well be useful 
for the entire lifetime of the author: in fact, I constantly reread works 
by Heinlein and Azimov all the time even two decades after their death 
and may very well have to obtain a new copy some time, as my copies are 
showing much wear.  So where is long enough for both cases?  A short 
renewable copyright may very well be the way to go, with the cost of 
renewal based on the formula above such that it's more trouble than it's 
worth to renew a copyright on a non-useful work, but trivial to renew a 
work that the copyright holder is playing by the rules.  

>John Galt <galt@inconnu.isu.edu>
>Sent by: owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
>11/07/01 09:45 AM
>Please respond to dvd-discuss
>        To:     <dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu>
>        cc: 
>        Subject:        RE: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be uniform?
>Even better: we could hit two birds with one stone.  Fees for renewing 
>copyright dependent on Author's cut, with a provision in there that no fee 
>means no extension, for "de minimus non curat lex" :)
>On Wed, 7 Nov 2001, Michael A Rolenz wrote:
>>You don't know Hollywierd accounting.....nothing ever makes a profit 
>>there....any fee scheme must be uniform and not dictated by the vagueries 
>>of accounting schemes.
>>"Ballowe, Charles" <CBallowe@usg.com>
>>Sent by: owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
>>11/07/01 07:22 AM
>>Please respond to dvd-discuss
>>        To:     "'dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu'" 
>>        cc: 
>>        Subject:        RE: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Arnold G. Reinhold [mailto:reinhold@world.std.com]
>>> Subject: Re: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be uniform?
>>> I think one could get the same effect by requiring affirmative action 
>>> to renew a copyright, like we had 50 years ago. I would have been 
>>> more comfortable with all the copyright duration extensions if there 
>>> was a substantial fee (say $100/yr) required to extend a term. Highly 
>>> valuable copyrights (Mickey Mouse, Gone With the Wind, etc.) would 
>>> see their terms lengthened, but the vast majority of material would 
>>> enter the public domain much sooner.
>>Interesting thought -- why not make the fee something like 1% of revenue
>>generated but the work? (only applying this to extensions beyond some
>>reasonable base term (20 yrs?)) That way, even if they don't become
>>public domain, the works can still serve some public interest.
>>-Charles Ballowe


You have paid nothing for the preceding, therefore it's worth every penny
you've paid for it: if you did pay for it, might I remind you of the
immortal words of Phineas Taylor Barnum regarding fools and money?

Who is John Galt?  galt@inconnu.isu.edu, that's who!