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[dvd-discuss] Copyright Renewal Amendment

Maybe the answer is to end the temptation of Congress to meddle with
copyright is a Constitutional Amendment to "renew" the original intent
of the founders.  

The Copyright Renewal Amendment

"(I) The 'limited times'  for 'exclusive rights' granted to authors and
inventors shall not exceed 20 years. 

(II) The 'exclusive rights' granted shall not include more rights than
exclusive rights of commercial making, commercial use, or commercial
distribution of the writings or inventions. Technical, legal, or
contractual control over personal or noncommercial making, use, or
distribution shall be prohibited by law.

(III) Publishers shall not be granted, or allowed to hold or control
these exclusive rights, unless the publisher is the actual author of the
work and a natural, human person.

(IV) 'exclusive rights' shall be granted to unpublished works only if
such writings or inventions are deposited with the Librarian of
Congress. 'exclusive rights' shall be granted to unpublished writings or
inventions not longer than 'limited times' from its creation.
(V) Copyright shall be granted to mechanically derivative works such as
computer programs, phonorecords, films or other or works based on source
material, only if the source material is deposited with the Librarian of


(I) Let's all be clear on limited times, shall we?

(II) Let's all be clear on the limits of the "exclusive rights".  This
solves huge problems with both educational use of copyright material and
"humanitarian" use of patents.  This would also cover "free (as in
speech or beer) software" -- it's non-commercial -- i.e. Mozilla
wouldn't have to pay for patents, but AOL/Netscape would.  If a drug is
patented, but made and distributed only for charitable use, then there
is no claim.  Post first sale restrictions on use *prohited* -- the
"death of post-first-sale DRM/TPM" clause

(III) this is essentially an "author keeps the rights to their work"
clause.  It also implies that publishers and rights holders must be
distinct -- yielding a in effect a mandatory license scheme.  One
exception, the natural human author can publish their own works
exclusively.  Not I specifically left out patents here.  Most patents
are the collaboration of a large group within a commercial entity. 
Perhaps with a shortened term this isn't an issue... I dunno.

(IV) unpublished works copyrights are a mess today.  This makes things
clearer.  If you want to protect a work and not publish it, it still
will become part of the public domain.  If an unpublished work is
discovered, it term is limited based on it's creation date.   Thus
"found works" are not granted longer terms than published ones.

(V) The last section is to ensure that the source code, master
multitrack tapes, computer animation data files and the like are
preserved.  I know for a fact the that the unpublished models of classic
early computer animation are rotting ( the tape has only a 10 year life
) in the file cabinets of places like Lucas and Disney.  In 95 years,
the Tron database will be lost forever.  In 95 years, the DOS code base
will be lost forever.  Finally, the "mechanically derivative" works
clause is an honesty clause... software that in 20 years old can't just
be commingled with new code and gain new protection.

Thought, comments.