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Re: [dvd-discuss] Public Domain Enhancement Bill
On Friday 27 June 2003 18:25, Jeme A Brelin wrote:
# Disney might (speculatively) control 90% of the existing copyrights on
# novels, short stories and movies (or whatver), but that's an insignificant
# percentage of the novels, short stories, and movies that can possibly be
# copyrighted. In other words, creative potential is always deemed to be in
# competition with previously creative work and hence there can never be a
The total number of possible copyrightable works isn't important.
All that's necessary is to make sure that the odds of any work
infringing on one of your copyrights is near unity.
IIRC, the shortest copyrightable prose passage or musical
work is Pretty Dang Short (ringtones, anyone?) The trick is
that the "shortest length" is long enough by 19th century
standards to be immune to the monkey attack, but with
21st-century methods it's no longer much of a problem.
A single CD can now hold all of the possible musical phrases
(allowing for "legal Hamming distance") so that one could, with
modest effort, make it legally impossible to produce *any* music
without infringing the copyright on one of those "works."
Likewise, IIRC it's now possible to brute-force copyright all
enough chunks of English prose that it would be impossible
to write much of anything without infringement.
The owner of these priceless copyrights would then be in
position to hold all music and English writing hostage.
Remember, you read it here first.