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

microlenz@earthlink.net wrote:
> On 10 Dec 2002 at 14:04, John Zulauf wrote:

> > 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.

But the investment choice was based on a reasonable expectation of 100
years or so.  To me making every "make-buy" decision an actuarial
exercise is very odd.

> > Beyond that is the impact of death variability on uses of the public
> > domain.
> That's the point.

What do you me.  Variability in use by the public would be a strong
negative. See below and quoting myself.

> >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.  

What I'm trying to say is the since works of a given period do not
expire simultaneously (a) study of them is skewed (for monetary and
licensing reasons) to the earliest dying authors, not the most
significant ones.  Also, since works of a period dribble into the public
domain, the chances for a revival are decreased due to the lack of
"critical mass" of works from a period.

> > "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.

2010 for FSF, huh.  Any other unlucky, miserable, short-lived authors we
can pick on?  Part of the reason is to build a case for the power of the
public domain at promoting works (and the importance of a short term). 
As these significant works by the untimely dead expire, we should make
sure that the PD dissemination of the works is well documented.