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

On 10 Dec 2002 at 14:04, John Zulauf wrote:

Date sent:      	Tue, 10 Dec 2002 14:04:41 -0700
From:           	"John Zulauf" <johnzu@ia.nsc.com>
To:             	dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu
Subject:        	Re: [dvd-discuss] Specific ironies of the CTEA
Send reply to:  	dvd-discuss@eon.law.harvard.edu

> 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.

Woooowww there! At 70 years Disney didn't make a bad bargain! So the return on 
investment argument doesn't really work. 

> Beyond that is the impact of death variability on uses of the public
> domain.  

That's the point.

>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. 

Actually this IS a good point especially with Popular Culture and the history 
of culture. Try reprinting "New Yorker's Best Short Stories of 1926"

> How one purports to promote progress with this plethora of
> unpredictabilities, uncertainties, and unequal rewards is imponderable. 

Well.the answer is easy..It doesn't

> 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.

Don't know about Jazz figures but consider F.Scott Fitzgerald 1940. Zelda died 
even earlier.