[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

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

microlenz@earthlink.net wrote:
> The question is not what is the balance between creating and
> sitting back and collecing the checks. Tom Clancy can sell
> millions of copies of his latest techno-opus but Harper Lee's "To
> Kill A Mockingbird" has more value than ALL his works. NOTE I
> used the word value not worth. Monetarily, Clancy wins but as
> enriching, as progressing, a few paragraphs of Harper Lee are
> worth all off Tom Clancy. <no flames. Unless You've read Harper
> Lee AND Tom Clancy don't waste the bandwidth. Explain how the
> subtilties of race relatinship in the 30s compares to techno-
> babble...but that may be my own heritage.).

Having been Mr. Gilmore in a high school production of Mockingbird
(those full stage freezes for exposition are a pain if you get caught
with arm extended) I understand and agree with the value judgment
regarding Lee vs. (the very enjoyable) Clancy.  However, I disagree
completely with you conclusion.

First, the dollar value of a longer Mockingbird copyright is nearly zero
-- thus we are grant almost nothing to the author and heirs.  Second,
those dollar exchange for Mockingbird are coming almost exclusively from
the education sector -- the last place you want to tax, and one of the
most budget constrained in our culture.  Thirdly, the cultural value of
the work militate for the EARLIER release from the bond of copyright,
not later.  Finally the depth and controversy surrounding the work means
that it is exactly the sort of work that should NOT be in the hand of
the highest bidder -- where even "Hunchback" gets a happy ending thanks
to the disneyization of culture.

Let Clancy get his money in the first 28 years -- let Speilberg
rerelease E.T. for a 20th aniversary -- but then it is time for

As for terms 18-22yrs is a practical minimum (protecting the heirs of an
author into *their* majority and college).  50 years is past the maximum
22 (age at the end of formal education) +50 (proposed term of copyright)
= 72 ... well past the productive years of a generation subsequent to
the creation of the work.  Even allowing for 12 (end of primary
eduction) + 50 (proposed term) = 62 ... again far outside the productive
heart of a generation.  50 years == 2 generations 20-25 == 1 generation.

All best,