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

Welll...it's gotta be bug free or else there will be millions and 
millions of these bugs yearly...

You keep forgetting accountants. Do you trust the accountants of 
the big studios or publishing houses? I don't. OK so you put the 
IRS on it...come on....do you want to give them an even bigger role 
in things. You can't administer something like this. A simple 
economic formula can't fix an economic imbalance between the 
rights and compensation of the creators of copyright material and 
those who hoard it. So  now every time the government says 
"copyright expired", the copyright holder has to sue the government 
to prove that it didn't because they don't agree with the 
government's accounting. That puts a burden on the court.And 
maybe the author's might agree with their publishers too. Better to 
get someting than NOTHING! Hey what about the fashioned 
kickback. I'll give you 99% advance that you now have to pay my 
overhead from..(OOPs that's the record industry isn't it)

But look at your formula....the cost for copyright renewal, less 
admin. fee is proportional to the percentage the author gets. Tom 
Clancy's 10% fee is the same as Joe Schmuck's 10%. But asides. 
there is an inherent flaw in any ANY of the variable length copyright 
scheme you can concoct - it puts an administrative burden on 
society, the courts and government. Why? The question is not 
when should copyright expire but how can you tell that it has?  
ANy of these variable length schemes requires someone to do 
something harder than the title search on a piece of property.

Answer - fixed term from data of publication of a reasonable length. 
Copyright notice and term affixed on every work and printing. 
Alteration of copyright notice is grounds for loss of copyright (e.g., 
Disney putting (c) in a book of folk songs.).Personally, maybe the 
general public should get into the act and report corporate 
copyright abuse and get rewarded from the fines <just a modest 

Now you argued that the authors are getting the short end of this. 
True enough. Why is that? How is it in a free market this can 
happen? Answer It isn't a free market. Look at what the RIAA, 
MPAA etc represent. Tell me if that's a free market? Look at the 
terms of copyright 5-6 generations. Tell me if that encourages the 
creation of works. It does mean that the large publishers have a 
steady income from Hemmingway. The distant Gershwins do too 
and that Disney can keep on using Mickey Mouse.

Date sent:      	Wed, 7 Nov 2001 17:15:01 -0700 (MST)
From:           	John Galt <galt@inconnu.isu.edu>
To:             	<dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu>
Subject:        	RE: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be uniform?
Send reply to:  	dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu

> 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.  
> cost=profit/author's_share+trivial_admin_fee
> 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'" 
> ><dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu>
> >>        cc: 
> >>        Subject:        RE: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be 
> >uniform?
> >>
> >>
> >>> -----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!