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

The only argument for a longer term over patents is that copyright covers 
things closer to ideas than patent does. It's easier to get people to 
accept a new widget than an new idea. A Copyright covered literary or 
musical works-absent a monopoly, one has some choices about it. The works 
of many music composers are accepted late in their lifetimes and often 
only after their deaths. Another reason is the one yout point out. THere 
is a utilitarian aspect to patent PREVIOUSLY absent in copyright.Throw in 
software, computer chip masks and  those things change things. We now have 
very utilitarian things thrown into copyright....this morning I noticed 
the license on a piece of HP (opps Agilent) test gear "I promise never 
ever to decompile or disassemble this software and if I want to I have to 
call and beg pretty please"....BTW documentation on it stinks. We've got 
screens that pop up that aren't in the manual and I want to know how they 
get a loop bandwidth to tenths of a millihertz.

"John Zulauf" <johnzu@ia.nsc.com>
Sent by: owner-dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
11/12/01 01:54 PM
Please respond to dvd-discuss

        To:     dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
        Subject:        Re: [dvd-discuss] Must Copyright terms be uniform?

Michael A Rolenz wrote:
> 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 
> ad absurdum.

I'm not sure (other than a "that's what the founders wrote" as law
argument) given that 20 seems to be perfect good enough for the patent
marketplace.  As much as the MPA wring their hand over how much money
produce that cultural treasure "Lethal Weapon IV" cost them -- Tylenol
cost at least 100 times as much -- with all the uncertainties of FDA
approval as fit for human use (something Titanic certainly would have
failed) -- and yeilded a mere 20 years of monopoly.  From the existance
proof of the patent system one can provably claim a minimum of 20 years
as sufficient incentive to create.  I've never, ever seen an argument
for why copyright works need more.  Again a "founders" arguement could
be made, but I counter that the founders wanted a 14 year (lesser) term
for works allow the 28 year exception to the enduring value of emerging

Not that our congress is listen to anyone but the copyright industry
dominated treaty organizations and lobbyists on the subject.

> As for Disneyization...the "Hunchback" has been in the public domain for
> decades( translations are available too. My copy was published in teh 
> century. ) except the French has a law regarding defamation of cultural
> heritage and that was certainly that.  While I think the French Law may 
> 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.

Thankful Hunchback is in the P.D. thus Disney has only harmed them
selves.  With > 28 year terms the highest bidder gets to define the work
with none being able to rescue it from their artless, sanitized,
pre-digested destiny of being repackaged pablum suitable for mass
marketing and (to quote Spaceballs -- "moichendizing! moichendizing! --
Spaceballs the Lunchbox..." ).

How can a work have an enduring value if for more than a generation it's
image and derivative works are controlled by the highest bidder?