Tuesday, February 11, 2003

One's Walt, the other Disney

When Disney were busy lobbying for an extension of the copyright to ninety years after death in the US, we were vaguely surprised at the slightly less greedy than they could have been term they were seeking: since anything much over twenty years is pretty inexcusable, we wondered why they were drawing a barrier round Steamboat Willy that will need to be lobbied upwards again in a few years rather than go for a anything longer.

Then we realised Robert Louis Stevenson died in 1894, and if the copyright protection fence was moved too far back, the already expensive debacle that is Treasure Planet would have become totally unworkable. Maybe, though, this could be the way to fight for the public domain - since the principle that Disney established could be used to threaten them, maybe its time someone tried to get copyright extended for the length of three lifetimes? It would be interesting to see how Disney could argue against such a proposition and for the current length...

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