[d@DCC] Length of Copyright
russell at flora.ca
Wed Sep 11 15:01:09 EDT 2002
On Wed, 11 Sep 2002, Alan DeKok wrote:
> Yes. Moral rights should last nearly forever. There are well-known
> authors who have been dead for thousands of years.
What is included as moral rights? If a work is misrepresented in what
some might see as a minor way (has a different colour than the creators
intention), is that a moral right violation? Are derivative works
considered moral rights violations?
When reviewing case law on moral rights in Canada, the line does not
seem as clear as it should be.
Where is the line drawn between moral rights and economic privilege?
Is there a third category that includes non-economic privilege to control
the representation and presentation of the work?
> > b) Do we separate different types of works? Length of copyright for
> > software different than for movies which are different than for
> > novels...
> It sounds good to me, but it might be hard to administer.
Length of copyright is hard to administer already. Each work has a
different start-date for the countdown, and with such a long length it
becomes quite possible for the work to get lost between "last publishing
date" and when it reverts to the public domain.
We also have so many detailed exceptions in current copyright law.
Other than confusion over "When is a newspaper article a newspaper
article, and when it is a component in a compilation book" and "when is an
e-Book a book and when is it software", it isn't that much harder to
administer than the status-quo.
The gains for the public domain would be considerable, rather than
having some mythical "one size fits all".
> > c) Do we separate different types of creators/copyright holders?
> > Origional Creators (Which are people), VAR's/Corporations (which can
> > hold copyright, but are not creators), Government (abolish crown
> > copyright, or at least the economic priviledge aspects of crown
> > copyright?)
> I'm not sure how this would apply to copyright. People are
> perfectly free to sell or give away their copyright to other people,
> to corporations, or to governments. Creating a different standard of
> copyright for different people/corporations would be prejudiced, and
This separation is already the case. Length of copyright for 'natural
persons' is tied to the death of that natural person. This is not the
case for others who may hold copyright.
Is your recommendation to remove the 'death of natural persons' from the
copyright act, and have the length of copyright tied to date of
publication/etc as is the case for non-natural persons?
> I could see non-creators having *lesser* rights under the copyright
> law. E.g. creators get protection during their lifetime. But
> corporations get (say) 30 years protection on creations that they
> buy. This would avoid the "immortal Mickey Mouse" problem which is
> going on in the States.
I consider tieing copyright to death to be extremely morbid - society
should not receive gain from someone's death in this way.
> I don't see why copyright exists after the creators death. I
> understand that the creators family may want to control *moral*
> rights. This may possibly include use of someone's image, or the
> sound of their voice.
If copyright on a given class of work should exist for 30 years, and the
author dies after 5, I believe that the family should still receive the
same economic rights that they would if the author was still alive. This
inheritance of copyright is no different than a corporation going bankrupt
and being able to sell copyright works as an asset to pay debtors.
Call it a form of 'death insurance' or anything else, but I see
considerable merit for ensuring that the death of an author remains untied
in any way to copyright.
> Alan DeKok.
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