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View Diary: House Republicans release Not Insane copyright reform paper then has a sad. (11 comments)

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  •  Article 1, Section 8, on Patents and Copyrights (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tool, JeffW, yella dawg, mike101, Calamity Jean
    "The Congress shall have Power...
    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors of the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;"
    The "limited Times" part seems to be going by the wayside.  Some movie industry lobbyist has said they want copyrights to be "one day short of forever".  That's mathematically ignorant -- infinity minus one is still infinity.  But it shows how greedy they are.  I'll believe the movie industry isn't writing copyright laws when some of the Mickey Mouse cartoons come into the public domain.  Our nation's first copyright law protected an author for 14 years and could be renewed once for another 14 years.  With the passage of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, these works are granted copyright protection for a term ending 70 years after the death of the author. If the work was a work for hire (e.g., those created by a corporation) then copyright persists for 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever is shorter.
    As I remember, Sonny Bono got elected to Congress and convinced them that extension was needed so artists could leave a valuable estate to their heirs.  How exactly that promotes "Progress of Science and useful Arts" for seventy years after the artist or scientist is dead isn't clear.

    My own Congressman, Lamar Smith, has been a big water carrier for the 'one day short of forever' lobbyists.  He's a down the line conservative, but that hasn't kept him from being in bed with the movie industry on this issue.  This Not Insane proposal for copyright reform may have seen the light of day because he wasn't paying attention.  He's been chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction on copyright law, but he's apparently jockeying for the chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  The only kind of scientist he is himself is a Christian Scientist.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 at 10:53:41 AM PST

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