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Re: [dvd-discuss] Eldred Being Argued Today

Michael A Rolenz wrote:
> as for the SGA...this is
> incredible! How often do these songs get played today? How many people
> know the tunes? I can say that I do only because the last two are one's
> that my parents still hum or sing because they learned them in their
> youth. But what an incredible Whine "OHHHHH alll this stuff will enter the
> public domain if you don't keep extending copyright and we can't have that
> even though some of you don't even know the tunes..."

Actually the counter argument to this is that the reason WHY nobody
knows these tunes (when we all should) IS long copyrights.  One of the
benefits of the public domain is that it act to make all people living
archivists.  Long copyrights mean that only corporations have the means
and opportunity to archive -- and aside from the occasional over-priced
"Time-Life" 19.95 per each disc/book/VHS/DVD series these self-same
corporations have little to no motivation.

It would be interesting to do a study of "most familiar non-contemporary
tunes."  My prediction, there would be a huge differential between the
1800's "Americana" songs that populate 100's of children's music CD's
(as they are out of copyright) and are popular at public concerts, and
more recent copyrighted works in terms of the number recognized, amount
of tune or lyric known.

Long copyrights work against broad public knowledge of works.  The
tragedy is that given a year for year lapse of copyright, earlier works
by an author (seminal initial "classics") could spur interest (and
royalties) for the remain works still copyrighted.  (and that perhaps
weren't value when they were released.  Certainly free library books
have gotten me to pay for other works by an author.  Lapsed works
(reissued by an Eldred Publishing type company) certainly should have
that same effect.