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

Michael A. Rolenz writes:
 > Yes but that's part of the financial bargain authors can make in a free 
 > market. If the market isn't free fix it using Anti trust laws, RICO or 
 > whatever. It's sad that Milne's daughter-in-law gets no money but SHE 
 > didn't write Pooh, her father-in-lawdid and he took the money and 
 > ran...now if the terms of copyright were reduced to something reasonable 
 > then we all can share Pooh when it gets in the public domain.

But she could still be receiving interest from the proceeds of the
deal, Disney might argue, adding that they wouldn't have paid as much
if there wasn't the prospect of distant future royalties, and her
current interest payments would have decreased as a result.  

There'd be an obvious fallacy here if the Pooh copyrights are already
older than the limits prevailing at the time of the deal (are they?),
but similar arguments in other cases aren't necessarily frivolous, or
even wrong. 

After all, we live in a world where David Bowie has actually issued
bonds backed by his songwriting royalties, so proceeds of future
record sales go not to him, but to the bondholders (and a google
search on "Bowie Bonds" shows that the term has now become generic, as
other songwriters have imitated the practice).

I certainly don't favor indefinite, or even long, copyright terms
myself, but I think this illustrates that there's a certain degree of
peril in focusing on whether authors are compensated, when what's
really gone wrong (IMHO) is that the public's side of the copyright
bargain has simply been abandoned.