[d@DCC] Copyright act review
ag737 at freenet.carleton.ca
Mon Sep 8 19:59:54 EDT 2003
>2. The extension to copyright length well beyond 50 years for published
>or unpublished material is insupportable. It will make research and
>publishing of historical material much more difficult. Copyright is an
>infringement on freedom of speech that the government has supported for
>400 years to encourage creators. What creator is encouraged by any
>extension of copyright more than 50 years beyond their death?
Or more than one minute beyond their death for that matter... But we do
accept posthumous protection based on the old widows-and-orphans argument.
Still, any term extension beyond the existing term will only really
benefit the few corporate owners of a few very valuable and lucrative
copyright "properties". For the rest of us it's a restriction, not a
protection. For that matter, the existing copyright terms that are greater
than Life plus fifty should also be shortened. I am thinking of the
ludicrously long terms given for unpubished archival documents whose
author died between 1949 and 1998. Prime Minister WLMK for instance -- the
guy who had a dog as an advisor -- won't see his papers become public
domain until almost a century after his death, thanks to teh reforms in
C-32, back in 1998. Now the situation is going to become worse again,
thanks to the term extension for the 1930-1948 "departed" contained in the
Lucy Maud Montgomery's Money-Grubbing Lazy-Assed Heirs Copyright Act, C-36.
We need a pre-emptive coalition against term extension here in Canada; the
US example has shown that a reactive one gets nowhere, even in a country
with a (theoretical) constitutional limit on the term of copyright.
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