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Re: [dvd-discuss] Specific ironies of the CTEA

Michael A Rolenz wrote:
> Ditto for Sir. A.C. Doyle. He died in 1926 and under CTEA,that's 1996
> and come to think of it....some of his last Sherlock Holmes stores
> were published in the 1920s I believe. Have they come back out of the
> public Domain? So in all cases does the retroactive extension apply to
> Kipling?, Doyle?, F.Scott Fitzgerald? Hemingway? This is one reason
> that my bet on the Supremes ruling in Eldred will be that they will
> allow life+70 for works that are created in the future but strike down
> the retroactive extension on existing works.

Certainly the arbitrary coupling of authors life span (Mozart vs.
Berlin) to copyright terms is antithetical to promoting progress.  In
order for progress, one must be able to do reasonable "make-buy"
decisions regarding the cost of using extant works and
return-on-investment for acquiring the rights to a work or for creating
a new one.  Disney bought a number of rights from Jim Henson (assuming
some duration) and then a misdiagnosis of pneumonia kills him at a young
age.  Or how about Jim Fixx (of the Complete Running Book) -- who died
of heart disease (hereditary) 10 years after writing (and presumably
assigning rights to) his bestseller.

Beyond that is the impact of death variability on uses of the public
domain.  Instead of all works from a given period being released into
the public domain -- allowing a critical mass of works for study or
revival-of-interest.  "Life-plus" pseudo randomly withholds and releases
works based on the age of the author when the work was created and when
the author dies (with such arbitrary elements as accident (Aliyah, and
"the day the music died"), war (Glenn Miller), the quality of local
health care (Jim Henson), personal mental health care (Kurt Cobain),
parental sanity (Marvin Gaye), assassination (Selena) among many
others.  How one purports to promote progress with this plethora of
unpredictabilities, uncertainties, and unequal rewards is imponderable. 

Hmmm, that brings up an interesting point... a T-70 deathwatch. When DO
some of the depression jazz classics pass out of copyright based on the
untimely demise, and starving artist conditions of the bop, swing, and
neo-bop periods.  Glen Miller died in 1944 ... that would make 2014 the
last year (pre CTEA it would have been 1994) for all Glenn Miller
music.  Why Miller and not Goodman of the same era?  Fortunes of war
(and likely friendly fire at that), literally.

Anybody else of similar stature liable to have their works released
before 2014?  We need death dates starting around 1933.