Tuesday, August 20, 2002

(c) FOREVER: So, Sonny Bono produced legislation in the states which extended copyrights - all copyrights - for an extra twenty years. Something similar happened in Europe, when Phil Collins, of all people, got the EU to standarise copyright laws, resulting in titles which had been in the public domain went back into copyright. Of course, nobody would deny the creator of a work their right to exploit it; nor their estate's ability to earn a living, but the Bono act is a step towards perpetual copyright, which is a bit of a scary concept. Because, seriously, do you think an songwriter, given the choice between their music being played two hundred years hence, or descendents having a copyright so scattered as to be worthless stopping that happen, are going to want a perpetual copyright? The only people who would be able to cash in on a copyright forever would be corporations... hey, that could be related, do you think? (Oh yes, it was the fear of Mickey Mouse coming into public domain that caused this scampering and tampering in the first place). But a legal fightback is on, and probably deserves the support of anyone who believes what culture creates has a value beyond its price tab.
Useful resources on the fight back here - may be slightly legal in nature
Salon com report

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