View Poll Results: How long should a copyright last before the I.P. becomes public domain?

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  • There should be no such thing as a copyright.

    6 5.71%
  • 1-20 years after intellectual property is created

    19 18.10%
  • 21-40 years after intellectual property is created

    2 1.90%
  • 41-60 years after intellectual property is created

    1 0.95%
  • The copyright should last as long as the creator of the intellectual property is still alive

    24 22.86%
  • 1-20 after the original creator of the intellectual property has died

    14 13.33%
  • 21-40 after the original creator of the intellectual property has died

    3 2.86%
  • 41-60 after the original creator of the intellectual property has died

    3 2.86%
  • The copyright on the intellectual property should last forever (a perpetual copyright.)

    20 19.05%
  • other idea or I do not know(please specify)

    13 12.38%
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Thread: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

  1. #21
    Count Smackula
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    Re: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

    The constitutional basis for copyright is to provide an incentive for creating new works. Profit on the part of creators provides financial motivation for creative efforts, but they are not entitled to a government granted monopolistic gravy train. Copyright right length should be specific to the circumstances of a given market. If you look at the theater run for a film or airing a season of a television show, the vast majority of money is made within the first year. Reducing copyright length to 1 year for video media would still provide ample financial incentive with minimum restriction on public rights. By comparison, the 7 year process for bringing a pharmaceutical drug to market would probably require around a decade to be worth it. Overly long length of copyright not only tramples on the rights of the public, but they also lower the number of works by allowing people to simply coast forever on royalties and syndication.

  2. #22
    Sage
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    Re: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    If the work is "orphaned" there's no worry.

    Besides, to prosecute on a copyright claim, the work must be registered, and the owner is listed in the Library of Congress.

    Now, if a copyright holder wants to remain anonymous, it's their own business. Someone else merely wanting to use the work isn't enough to upset that.
    Copyright works don't need to be registered, it's automatic opt in for all works.
    Orphaned works go unused in the real world because of the legal liability to the user of the work.
    This is a real world problem.

    I strongly disagree with the last statement.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  3. #23
    Filmmaker Lawyer Patriot
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    Re: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Copyright works don't need to be registered, it's automatic opt in for all works.
    Orphaned works go unused in the real world because of the legal liability to the user of the work.
    They do in order for the holder to have access to the courts to prosecute infringement, which is the "trouble" and "liability" you're referring to.

    This is a real world problem.
    Do you have examples?

    I strongly disagree with the last statement.
    Noted.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

  4. #24
    Sage
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    Re: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    They do in order for the holder to have access to the courts to prosecute infringement, which is the "trouble" and "liability" you're referring to.
    Actually they don't.
    The copyright act of 1976 eliminated the need to register a work.

    A work has copy protection, "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression."

    Orphan works in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    Do you have examples?
    Rather Than Fixing The Problem Of Orphaned Works, The Authors Guild Wants To Play 'Gotcha' | Techdirt
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  5. #25
    Baby Eating Monster
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    Re: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Temporal View Post
    I have already decided that if SOPA and PIPA pass, I will not be returning to live in the United States after the next work term and my family will remain ex-pat.
    I wish I had that option. As far as I can tell, this is the only government on Earth that I could live peaceably under.

    To answer the OP, I'm trying to make my living by creating IP. Copyright laws are in a very real way essential to my career. However, I don't think that it is economically realistic for creative professionals such as myself to rely on current laws and current business models to sustain our industry in the face of digital piracy; we're trying to sell our products in a market in which our competition is giving them away for free, and then applying DRM and other measures that mean our competition is giving away superior versions of our products for free. I'm a big believer in GNU and CC and the OGL and other "copyleft" licenses that allow for various forms of re-distribution and adaptation of intellectual property, and "ransom" and "kickstarter" models that allow creators to make their money without competing with piracy-- that actually benefit from free distribution. I believe that's where the future of the publishing industry lies.
    Last edited by Korimyr the Rat; 01-21-12 at 07:33 PM.

  6. #26
    Filmmaker Lawyer Patriot
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    Re: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Actually they don't.
    The copyright act of 1976 eliminated the need to register a work.
    That will surprise quite a few working IP attorneys.


    A work has copy protection, "original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression."

    Orphan works in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Ownership affixes at creation. Access to courts requires registration.

    17 U.S.C. 4 Sec 411:

    (a) Except for an action brought for a violation of the rights of the author under section 106A (a), and subject to the provisions of subsection (b),[1] no civil action for infringement of the copyright in any United States work shall be instituted until preregistration or registration of the copyright claim has been made in accordance with this title.
    United States Code: Title 17,411. Registration and civil infringement actions | LII / Legal Information Institute


    I don't have a lot of sympathy considering how many authors were "found" with a bit of diligence.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

  7. #27
    Sage
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    Re: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

    People who don't live off their intellectual property debating when they should have the right to appropriate the work of someone else because they don't feel like paying for it.

    Next on MSNBC:

    We ask bank robbers when they should be allowed to break into vaults.

    __________________________________________________ ________

    The most disingenuous bit here is that the OP is asking people whether "20 years" is enough. As if the overwhelming majority of people are stealing 60 year old music and Jean Claude Van Dame movies from the early 80s.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 01-21-12 at 07:37 PM.
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  8. #28
    Doesn't go below juicy
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    Re: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    This is a fair point, and I can't argue against it, but I generally feel "1-20 yrs after death of the creator" is fine. With some nuances...

    - If the creator is a business, then the business could conceivably keep it forever if the business lasts forever. Even that has some nuances, in my mind...

    - The human creator would legally be the "co-owner" if created on company time... and no ability to sign away fully to the company through coercion as is often the case now with patents.

    - If co-owned, upon death of the person(s)/co-owner(s), full ownership would revert to the company after the estate has its 20 year co-ownership period expire.

    - The company could keep it forever through mergers and acquisitions, and it could sell the copyright, but if outright sold, a strict 20 yr limit would be in place for the new buyer.
    In the case of the company, it should be the average age of the specific group or department that created the IP

  9. #29
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    Re: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    That will surprise quite a few working IP attorneys.




    Ownership affixes at creation. Access to courts requires registration.

    17 U.S.C. 4 Sec 411:



    United States Code: Title 17,411. Registration and civil infringement actions | LII / Legal Information Institute
    Can you not register the work, after you find someone infringing and then sue for infringement?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harshaw View Post
    I don't have a lot of sympathy considering how many authors were "found" with a bit of diligence.
    Authorship does not denote ownership.
    IP can be transfer and sold, from the original author to another.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

  10. #30
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    Re: How long should a copyright last before it becomes public domain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    People who don't live off their intellectual property debating when they should have the right to appropriate the work of someone else because they don't feel like paying for it.
    So when do you think copyright should expire? Or should copyright survive in perpetuity and original works never enter the public domain?

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