Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A good post from a Republican Committee

A good report came out of the Republican Study Committee last week, and I agree with most of the paper, https://www.eff.org/document/rsc-report-three-myths-about-copyright-law

They are absolutely correct, we need to reform copyright law. There is no reason that George Gershwin's classic works should be under copyright, and their mention of Steamboat Willey is very appropriate given Disney's previous policies. Disney was a major supporter of that act which extended Copyright to 95 years after the death of the author/composer of a work of music. This means that Rhapsody in Blue won't be out of copyright until 2056, and the earliest works of Louis Armstrong won't be public until 2031, if it was published at the end of his life they will be made public in 2056. Heebie Jeebies, one of Louis Armstrong's earliest and most well-known works will be 116 years old when it finally goes into the public domain. If the length of time it will take for Heebie Jeebies to be released was used as the benchmark, everything written after 1897 would be under copyright. The Jungle Book, most of HG Wells' books, The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan, Peter Pan, and Pygmalion would almost certainly still be under copyright, despite being over 100 years old. Fortunately, the earliest date for American copyright is 1923 because that was the age when Mickey Mouse Forever was passed.

I agree with the Republican Study Committee that we need to reduce copyright, and I agree with our founding fathers that 14 years is a reasonable amount of time. If you can't make enough money in 14 years off a piece of work it isn't that special, and given that extending copyright for a very long period of time prevents works that build off of others, it will be better for our economy.

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