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  •  No all creative income comes from copyright. (0+ / 0-)

    graphic designers, web designers, game makers, and multiple others,  such as writers, down to basic mom and pop jewlry makers  etc.

    Few graphic designers, web designers, and mom and pop jewelry makers use copyright law to get paid for their efforts to any great extent.

    Most graphic designers and web designers make their money doing commissioned works.  They have the same business model as a lot of pre-copyright law creative professionals such as Mozart and Leonardo DaVinci.

    Small jewelry makers draw a large part of their income from mark up on materials and labor, and a relatively small part from the designs themselves.  Also, as I noted before, no one wants to eliminate some compensation for pure copies.  Jewelry designs are trendy, and rarely stay in fashion more than 28 years.  Finally, jewelry design protection for derivative works is quite weak because a fairly minor difference is often not considered a derivative work and because many jewelry designs can fairly said to be derivative of the thousands of years of out of copyright designs.  Unlike software, there is a large public domain of jewelry designs.

    Even when there is a copyright infringement for jewelry, copyright law is rarely used to try to enforce that right because the dollars involved are small and the costs and risks of litigaiton are high.  Moreover, it is at least as common that a mom and pop jeweler (who may be serendipity make a similar design to a large company without actually copying, which is O.K. but can provoke good faith lawsuits) gets sued for copyright violation by a big operation than the other way around.

    The bigger issue for mom and pop jewelers is trademark which doesn't expire for good reason.  There is far more money in trying to pass of say a knock off design for one made by a big name designer, than trying to pass off a knock off under a no name designers label.  The aura of the person who made it has more value than the design itself, because it goes to expectations of the quality of the workmanship.

    As for game makers, I really am not worried if video games made in 1979 fall out of copyright now -- the economic cycle of those just isn't huge.  Most successful board games likely are fad driven and relatively short lived.  Most of the classic games would be out of copyright now, but for extension of copyright terms for already produced works made in 1976.  They aren't any worse off than they expected to be and have received a windfall.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

    by ohwilleke on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 09:36:38 AM PST

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