Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Conservative Case For Taking On The Copyright Lobby; Business Insider, 4/30/14

Derek Khanna, Business Insider; The Conservative Case For Taking On The Copyright Lobby:
"Current U.S. law provides copyright protection for the life of the author plus 70 years. For corporate authors, the term is 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication. But those changes reflect only part of the reality. In fact, lobbyists have usurped the policymaking process itself to ensure that whenever one term of copyright is set to expire the law is extended.
Several times, these extensions have even been made retroactively, reapplying copyright protections to works that already had moved into the public domain. Thus, the degree to which the current life-plus-70 standard can be relied on to accurately project when a specific work may move into the public domain is limited.
The practical effect of this policy is, effectively, a regime of indefinite copyright. During oral arguments of the 2002 case of Eldred v. Ashcroft, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said of the policy of continual copyright extension that it "flies directly in the face of what the framers had in mind, absolutely."
If You Repeat A Lie Often Enough
Jack Valenti, then head of the Motion Picture Academy of America, testified during the legislative runup to passage of 1998's Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (colloquially known as the Mickey Mouse Protection Act) that "copyright term extension has a simple but compelling enticement: it is very much in America's economic interests."
We have lots of reasons to be skeptical of Valenti’s claim. One, it wasn’t backed by data. Two, there is overwhelming data to the contrary from economists. Three, Valenti was well known for making stuff up that was demonstrably untrue and for having little regard for the rest of the economy."

No comments: