(5/4/03 8:19 pm)
Old Topic Revisited - Eldred v. Ashcroft|
FYI, in case you missed it, back in January the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the law extending the term of both new and exisiting copyrights, and found that the law was consistent with First Amendment free speech. I am sorry I didn't report on this sooner. My notes somehow slipped under some other papers, which I discovered today.
Interestingly, while the ruling seems to have found bipartisan support, the "public domain" lobby is working on developing other ideas to ensure that "unused" copyrighted works, like the motion pictures that are falling into disrepair, are entered into the public domain despite the extension.
Again, I apologize for not reporting on this earlier.
(5/5/03 5:51 am)
Re: Old Topic Revisited - Eldred v. Ashcroft
I noticed the ruling, but I decided not to report it because of the furor the topic brought to the board when it was first introduced. In the meantime, there has been a lot of exploration for alternatives. One of the more interesting ones is in this press release from a technical publisher, who are exploring something called "Founder's Copyright"a legal option that allows copyright holders to voluntarily release their works to the public after the period envisioned in the original 1790 US copyright law--14 years, with the option of one 14-year extension.
While, I sympathize with the "family farm" pov as espoused by many living artists, current copyright does make it difficult to do anything with artists who died after 1933. I work in the art history department of a non-profit academic press. It makes our books extremely expensive to produce and also limits what areas of art are researched by scholars. One of the reasons I believe that Victorian art has suddenly come into vogue is because a lot of 19C material is finally coming into public domain.
I never thought about the impact these laws might have on motion pictures. *Shudder.* I will have to ask my friend who is a film archivist.
Thanks for mentioning it. I think this is an important topic worthy of discussion.
See original topic at: Eldred