Saturday, October 26, 2013

Copyright Vs The Public Domain

The Washington Post has a great article detailing the history of copyright term-extension legislation, including the fact that the topic is about to rear its ugly head again over the next several years as properties like Mickey Mouse are once more 'at risk' of falling into the public domain.

As a creator of copyrighted material myself (six books and counting!), I'm totally of the opinion that copyrights have to terminate after a reasonable span, such as the creator's lifetime plus fifty years, for example.  That provides plenty of opportunity for money-making off of them, not only for the person who produced the work, but also for the next generation of family members.  Any more than that is ridiculous, if you ask me.  And, as the article points out, the term keeps getting extended to put more money into corporations' pockets, not to help out creative types.  Considering that it's Disney and Time Warner, among others, that we're talking about here, the irony is pretty thick: both companies have comic publishing arms (Marvel and DC, respectively) who've famously screwed over the people actually creating the stories and artwork for their characters.

I'd love to see this trend toward longer and longer extensions reversed sometime soon, but I doubt it'll happen.  Corporate interests, after all, are more zealously safeguarded now than ever.

No comments: