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Re: [dvd-discuss] Argument: NO extensions can be constitutional.Eldred related -- of DVD interest

At 1:57 PM -0500 1/25/02, Jeremy A Erwin wrote:
>On Friday, January 25, 2002, at 11:59  AM, John Zulauf wrote:
>>(3) Thus we can assert an historical (and non-hypothetical) proof that
>>14+14 copyright terms are sufficient to incent the broad publication of
>>works (at least books, charts, et. al.)
>>(4) Given that the initial 14+14 year term was sufficient any longer
>>term is supersufficient
>Yeah, but the government will assert that the longer copyright terms 
>are necessary  to offset the falling costs of piracy. Longer 
>copyright term -> more to time to offset initial costs. (see 
>Landes/Posner, 1989).
>It's simplistic, the math is laughable, but the government will 
>argue that point 3 is false.

The math is more than laughable, I believe it is provably wrong. I 
don't think it would be hard to show that the economic half-life of 
most published published works has dropped dramatically since the 
days of the founding fathers.  Movies make a large fraction of their 
gross in the first weekend. Book sales drop sharply once they leave 
the front-of-store displays.  If anything there is a sound economic 
argument for shorter copyrights for most works.

One concept that should be on any list of less restrictive measures 
would be to restore the requirement for renewal of copyright, and if 
necessary provide for multiple renewals with some fee, to insure that 
only works with nontrivial residual value are renewed.  The founders 
got it right with the renewal requirement since the vast majority of 
works no doubt entered the public domain in 14 years instead of 28. I 
wonder if the copyright office has data on the number of renewals 
filed each year since the 18th century?

One interesting side note on the Law Professors' amicus brief 
pdf is that they cited the 2nd Circuit's decision in the 2600 case in 
support of their argument for certiorari, citing the fact that the 
2nd circuit at least considered the First Amendment issues in a 
copyright case.

Arnold Reinhold