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

While I tend to agree with your reasoning per se and the goals-50 is an 
upper bound. 28 is probably a lower bound. Regardless of what's a good 
term, your arguments demonstrate the fallacy of the current terms-reductio 
ad absurdum. 

I'm beginning to suspect how Macauley came up with 42. He could see what 
14 and 28yrs did. Figured extending it was needed and then tacked on 
another of the original terms. I'm beginning to suspect that 50 yrs was 
chosen as sort of "Come on now.NOBODY can possibly want copyrighth to 
extend beyond 50yrs do if we set it at 50yrs we won't ever have to fix 
this problem again!"...it may have been a bribe and political 
expediency...but they never counted upon corporate greed in the 
"information age".  I don't suppose that WIPO has even considered the 
Statutes of Anne....

As for Disneyization...the "Hunchback" has been in the public domain for 
decades( translations are available too. My copy was published in teh 19th 
century. ) except the French has a law regarding defamation of cultural 
heritage and that was certainly that.  While I think the French Law may be 
a bit extreme, I hope they banned the Disney Hunchback there.   I refuse 
to watch any Disney film past the original "jungle book" and that's my 
lower bound for Disney works.

"John Zulauf" <johnzu@ia.nsc.com>
Sent by: owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
11/12/01 08:32 AM
Please respond to dvd-discuss

        To:     dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
        Subject:        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,