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Re: [dvd-discuss] [openlaw] Government takes more extreme lineinsecond"Eldred" case

On Fri, 11 Jan 2002 jerwin@gmu.edu wrote:

> I'd actually suggest looking at the original Landes/Posner article. (Try
> to get
> a hard copy-- I'm sure that Lexis-Nexis has managed to mangle
> the calculus equations in the first segment of the article.)

If anyone does get a copy. I'd be interested in reading it over to
criticque the math. The library here doesn't have a copy of that Journal.

> "The present term [life + 50] may seem both too long--the author who
> publishes a work at age 30 and dies at age 80 has one hundred years of
> copyright protection, and even in the unlikely event that the work will
> generate a substantial income in the one hundredth year, the present
> value of that expectation will be virtually zero, and arbitrary in

And the negative influence of a term that long?

I wondered if they accounted for the costs of a term that long, in terms
of suppressed data that can't be built upon. Distributors who can't make
money selling 50-year-old public domain documents, etc. Extra litigation.

> As for their assertion that
> "...This trend [towards longer copyright terms] is consistent with the
> fact that the cost of copying has fallen over this period, we showed
> earlier that the lower the cost of copying, the greater the optimal
> scope of copyright protection,"
> I am not so familiar with economics, and did not bother to follow their
> proof.

I'd love to see that proof.

But, I suspect that the big problem with this line of research will
probably be that its 'easy' to point out how much money gets lost without
longer copyright terms. (How much has Mickey Mouse/gone with the
wind/beatles made in the last 30 years?) But extremely hard to show
damages. Thus, an analysis almost can't help but show that things are
always gained by increasing copyright terms.

Anyways, I'd be interested in seeing the article if I can get my hands on
a copy.