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

On Fri, 11 Jan 2002 microlenz@earthlink.net wrote:

> I'd love to see it too. I'm going to try and get a copy. If I succeed I'll
> let you know. (or if you do). I love doing mathematical modeling but


> really hate looking at the crap that gets out there in the economic
> and sociology areas...OTOH  scientists aren't immune to it either.

There are a few issues that require additional research.

1. How do you quantify losses on other products. IE, products that cannot
or are not made. For example, how do I quantify the losses incurred by
banning (say) the Star Wars spoofs. Stopping non-commercial products
doesn't lead to a direct commercial losses. (Which is why DeCSS isn't a
'signifigant COMMERCIAL use'.)

2. How much money could be made. IE, how much is spent on broadband for
MP3's, and how much more might be spent if these digital works were
available in the public domain. Also, the effect on storage and computer
technology. But, you'd have to avoid the 'DRM works will lead to the same
proliferation of bandwidth as public-domain works'

3. How does one judge the harm of suppressing a non-commercial work.

4. How do you DISPROVE that long copyright terms provide funding that
allows authors to create more works. (IE, long copyright terms keep
creators creating.) You'd need to show that, at some level, most authors
start resting on their laurels after (say) 20 years if they're too

5. Legal overheads for defending or insuring that one *is* safe when
trying to offer a possibly-public-domain or unknown status work. (Here,
you'd probably want to query the Gutenburg project and Eldrich Free


> > 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.
> >
> > Scott
> >
> >

No DVD movie will ever enter the public domain, nor will any CD. The last CD
and the last DVD will have moldered away decades before they leave copyright.
This is not encouraging the creation of knowledge in the public domain.