On Monday 26 December 2005 10:22 pm, Katipo wrote:
> John Hasler wrote:
> >In any case, I don't think anything should stay in copyright for 50 years.
> Definitely not, and in some cases, it's 70 or 90!
> I'd like to see, dependent on case, an absolute maximum of 15, but in a
> lot of cases, 5.
I wonder, how many copyrights or patents do you hold?
If you're a drug company or a big hardware/software company, 5 years can be
enough time, but if you're an individual, it can take much longer. I'm in my
40s and have stories and scripts I wrote in my early 20s that I copyrighted.
I'll finally be in a position to produce them (with some re-writing) in the
next few years. It can vary a lot.
If I bust my rear and make an amusement park and own the land, I can make
money on it for my lifetime by charging admission, and my descendants or the
corporation can continue forever. If I put the same effort into busting my
a$$ to write software or a movie, I should not be punished by not being
allowed much time to make money on it.
With that having been said, there is a big difference for intellectual
property. Stories, characters, and scenes from movies, for example, make
their way into the zeitgeist and public consciousness and should be allowed
to be integrated into other works after a time, but on the other hand, if
they are that well liked, shouldn't the creator be given as much reward as
possible for it? Poe got $100 for The Raven, but it became popular. While
he did sign away the rights (he needed the money), is it fair for the creator
of a work to sit back and watch while others reference their work, over and
over, in products which create a profit?
> Whether copyright or patent, that gives the creator enough time to make
> money from his creation, even if he has the handicap of having to hunt
> around for a partner to supply the finance for a project.
No, often it does not. You've never dealt with an agent or producer. Some
are honest, many are not. All they would have to do is sit on a good script
for 5 years (if you had your way), then produce it. The writer, at that
point, is S.O.L. Many big companies can make money in a short time, but many
individuals do not have the resources to make a profit that quickly.
> After that amount of time, if he's not far enough ahead of the rest of
> the market, that's business.
That may work in software, but copyrights apply to a lot besides software.