Ultimately, law is about power.
Under the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the federal government is one of limited powers, meaning (at least it theory) that the federal government cannot lawfully act beyond the scope of its enumerated powers as expressly set forth in the constitution.
So, consider how profound (again, I know it sounds quaint) is the responsibility of those elected officials to act responsibly in how they legislate about such enumerated powers.
Copyright is part of the legislative power defined in Article I of the constitution. Right there in Article I, Section 8 you can see it among the fewer than 20 items set forth for what the Congress is supposed to do: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States . . . To borrow Money . . . To regulate Commerce . . . To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization . . . To Coin Money . . . To provide for the punishment of Counterfeiting . . . To establish Post Offices . . . To promote the Progress of Science and Useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries . . . To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court . . . To define and punish Piracies . . . To declare War . . . To raise and support Armies . . . To provide and maintain a Navy . . . And To make Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."
I elided a few of the enumerated powers but the above sets forth the great majority of them.
Thus, while it might be and often is argued that copyright protection does not actually achieve the things ascribed to it (promoting creative works, protecting artists’ rights in their creative works, etc.), the fact is that our laws are profoundly to the contrary: the idea of promoting the progress of science and useful arts via copyright protection (and patent protection) is right there among the fundamentals defining the essence of the legislative power of the federal government. And, to be listed at all among such powers is in itself profound because the states that formed the United States and ultimately ratified the constitution as a compact among them were jealous not to give any more authority to the federal government than was absolutely necessary.
That authority was granted only on the biggest of issues and was checked and balanced by and among the legislative power (Article I), the executive power (Article II), and the judicial power (Article III).
And yet there it stands: the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts, "by securing for limited Times to Authors . . . the exclusive Right to their respective Writings". Right there among the powers to print money, to declare war, to lay and collect taxes, to establish federal courts, and the like.
And that is why it was so utterly reprehensible when in 1998 the Congress took existing copyright terms that were to have run for 75 years and retroactively made them 95 years. Yes, the 1923 copyrights were to have expired in 1998 and, here we are, 20 years later, grateful to have them come into the public domain at last.
And in what sense did this retroactive copyright extension serve to promote the progress of science and useful arts? Well, in no sense at all. It imposed new rules retroactively. It provided for absurdly long lengths of copyright protection. It had no bearing at all on the idea of promoting the arts. As such, it constituted nothing more than a crude exercise of naked power utterly divorced from the principled reason for having copyright protection at all.
I believe in the value of copyright protection. I think there are excellent arguments to be made in its favor. But the cause of copyright protection was not promoted by the 1998 extension. It was significantly set back because people looking at what that Congress did are rightly revolted by the cronyism that cynically gave special favors to a privileged few and, suffering from the pain thereby inflicted on those who were needlessly burdened by completely arbitrary restrictions on being able to use works that deserved to be in the public domain, concluded that copyright protection itself is a great evil burdening society for no good purpose.
To repeat, principled application of the law is vital to a free society. What happened with copyright in 1998 was a gross departure from that important truth. Let us hope it does not happen again as the 2018 expirations are about to occur.
It seems obvious that IP provides some incentive to create, although how much is completely unknown. It also seems obvious that even in a world with no legal protection, people would still want to create, though again, how much is unknowable.
And it seems this was done:
"Despite the logic of the theory that increasing copyright protection will increase the number of copyrighted works, the data do not support it. Instead, our findings demonstrate that the historic long-run growth in new copyrighted works is largely a function of population"
An argument could be made that traders at large holding firms would value IP more highly with a longer term, thus allocating more money, and incentivizing production, but there are so many links involved that I seriously doubt much of that could hope to make it back to the artist.
Anyway, I was just responding to the implication that a lack of objective data is enough to seriously consider abolishing copyright altogether.
At my former employer they started getting massive numbers of returns on a product they sold. We exchanged hundreds of the devices and when the numbers got unbearable we started diagnosing the problems. Some returns, mainly from faulty installations, were expected but hundreds was unprecedented.
They noted out-of-spec components on the boards, counterfeit components, and slight manufacturing defects.
This led to months of back-and-forth, often very heated, bickering between manufacturing, quality control, the service department, distributors, component suppliers, dealers, and the engineers who designed the product.
Eventually it was determined that cosmetically-identical boards were being manufactured by someone in a country that rhymes with Dyna and had made it into the supply chain.
The company then spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a holographic label printer, and hundreds of thousands more on personnel, procedures, and specifications to attach in-house printed serialized holographic stickers in predetermined locations and orientations that varied based revision and board serial number.
We also completely changed how we sent out new boards, implementing an expensive process where every board was tracked from production to installation, frustrating many of our distributors.
This was a small/medium-sized privately-held company in the commercial/industrial sector. We estimated that almost $10 million was spent honoring bogus RMAs (which they continue to do), determining the source of the RMAs, and implementing a solution to reduce future RMAs.
If that $10 million had not been spent fighting someone ripping off my employer's IP, at least one and probably two new products could have been developed, considering that entire teams of people, from Management to Engineers to Technicians, were redirected to work on the RMA issue. Who knows how much money end users lost from downtime, because someone somewhere between us and the end user, decided to rip them off.
Software folks don't care. The last thing they do, both free and proprietary vendors, before releasing software is attach language like this:
THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR THE PROGRAM, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE PROGRAM “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE PROGRAM IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE PROGRAM PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION.
IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MODIFIES AND/OR CONVEYS THE PROGRAM AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE PROGRAM (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE PROGRAM TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER PROGRAMS), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.
So who cares if their IP is ripped off?
My former employer can't do that. People may die if our products fail. There are statutory requirements to comply with. So we charged a lot for our products and offered iron-clad, no-exceptions, on-site support.
Instead of engineering down to a price point, we engineered for maximum safety and reliability.
But Wang Da Nian somewhere in Shenzhen decided that ripping off our designs, firmware, and trademarks and using the shittiest parts possible to insure that it would operate when installed all while taking the time to make it look EXACTLY like our product was a good business decision.
Well it brought money to disney and they did produce art (...at least sometimes, the last Star Wars was not soo bad)
So if they would no have revoked it, all this money would have instead been spend on drugs or worse, instead of cementing the monopoly of our lovely family entertainment company.
Like, without the land grab keeping works from the public for 20 years longer does anyone suppose Disney would have done anything different?
It certainly didn't alter the behaviour of the long dead content creators.
The 10th Amendment states:
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
And the Supreme Court has ruled that "added nothing to the [Constitution] as originally ratified".
The Commerce Clause lets the federal government get away with just about anything.
The commerce clause thing is a separate issue. Wickard v. Filburn had nothing to do with the tenth amendment, as it is based on a (particularly broad) interpretation of one of those enumerated powers.
I am not a lawyer, this is not legal advice, you should hire a lawyer if you are somehow in a situation where this is directly relevant to you.
Disclaimer: I work for the Open Knowledge International, which used to fund the Public Domain Review.
1) Strong property rights are good: they make economic transactions efficient and promote investment
2) Copyrights are property rights
3) Strong copyrights are good: they make economic transactions efficient and promote investment
The scholarship is literally just that simple, and almost completely discounts or ignores all the obvious costs and caveats. This type of reductionism and equivocation is endemic to the modern economic and legal academies and doesn't show much sign of abating anytime soon.
I don't think anyone has done a full inventory, but I think overall the risk-to-reward equations for original screenplays versus adaptations and franchises has hardly ever shifted over the years. If anything, the larger numbers of "indie" studios, non-traditional "studios" in play (Amazon, Netflix, YouTube), and the increasing ability for everyone to access filmmaking by modern technology likely lead us to a place where we may actually be at the height of original entertainment in films, whether or not Hollywood is leading or following that trend.
They will buy the movie, will buy the products placed in it, will buy the merchandise, will bring their children and allow them to be invested as consumers in the media's financial system under the suggestion of cultural input, ...
- pretty much any popular movie got sequels (whether or not there was more story to tell was irrelevant... an innovation in itself!)
- which led to trilogies
- which led to series of trilogies
- then became never ending series
- which has morphed into endless reboots of never ending series
Aren't you looking forward to seeing the 14th Spiderman reboot in your lifetime? Revel in the fact that Hollywood has perfected the audiovisual version of Coca-Cola: no aftertaste... 10 minutes after the movie ends, you forget what you watched and are ready for the next installment/reboot!
And it's not just remakes of movies. If you look at the last century, probably 90% of the hit films were actually adaptations of books.
But it's not unique to Hollywood. At one time the same could be said of plays. Though these days, a lot of movies are being transformed into plays instead of books.
Those original films were: ET, two Star Wars movies, three Indiana Jones movies, Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, and Back to the Future.
The two Star Wars movies were still sequels, even if the franchise was new in the 70s. Star Wars wore many of its pulp Hollywood adventure series and World War 2 movie influences on its sleeve.
The three Indiana Jones were two bankable directors' hobby project. In turn, they were heavily based on early Hollywood adventure serials and pulp adventure novels.
Ghostbusters was bankable comedians' hobby project.
Beverly Hills Cop was a "cheap" film in a bankable genre (cop film), that was easy to franchise if successful (which it was, and did).
I won't directly harp on BTTF that much, but some combination of all the above applies to it, too.
5 of those 9 all directly involved Spielberg, in one capacity or another, which is another way for Hollywood to avoid risk by betting on the non-riskiest "risk taker" they can find. (Given Lucas' relationship with Spielberg, you can argue that Star Wars also benefited indirectly from Spielberg's "golden touch" in the 80s, bringing the count to 7 of 9.)
But looking at the Top 10 isn't particularly fair in any decade. For every ET and Ghostbusters there were six of the seven Police Academy movies and seven James Bond films, for two easy 80s examples.
It's also maybe an reminder that Hollywood can only bottle that Lightning every so often. "It's a standard buddy cop film, but with Eddie Murphy, so it's the first funny buddy cop film," only really works once.
That's possible. Perhaps current directors and stars are less bankable? Or perhaps current bankable directors and stars are less original?
I think I was more trying to get a point across that most of those probably were perceived to be relatively "low risk" original or not.
If you compare apples to apples you could probably find an equal number of relatively bankable directors/stars making mostly original stuff.
Guillermo del Toro is a big one in my mind thinking about this decade; Paul Feig and Edgar Wright also come to mind as bankable directors. Between them you can probably point to plenty of original films that might stand toe to toe with ET or Ghostbusters.
Don't forget to take off any rose-colored glasses when comparing of course; there's always that nostalgic factor when comparing one's childhood favorites to today's output.
If there is a big difference between the Top 10 list in the 80s and the Top 10 list this decade so far might be that audiences rewarded the big experiments in ET and Ghostbusters a bit more fondly at the box office than any equivalents this decade, but mainstream favor is always the hardest part of that risk/reward equation for Hollywood.
Not to mention on top of that you have the market shifts of bigger international audiences, smaller domestic theater audiences (shifting to home theater setups), etc.
How do you even compare Okja, for instance? (That one is a bankability "hire", too, in that the director proved himself in adaptation and foreign market work.) One of the most original films in the last decade, and who knows what its equivalent box office numbers might be except maybe some formula of a Netflix accountant somewhere?
There used to be indie scenes in music and movies that would kickstart the careers of the next wave of creators. Ironically, making the tools affordable and accessible has killed that next wave, because success depends as much on access to mainstream distribution and monetisation as it does on creation - and there's far less money available to distribute, promote, and monetise non-mainstream projects than there used to be.
Not only is there no money in true indie originality now, there isn't even much chance of exposure.
Covers are interesting. The imprint has gone for a “classic oil painting” style as a general rule of thumb and those need to be PD as well of course. That’s trickier than it sounds in the US, as to be PD they need to have been published in a book in the US pre-1923. For example, the edition of Crime and Punishment I worked on has an Edvard Munch as cover art. I managed to find that reprinted in a copy of “Scandinavian Art”, published in the US in 1922. Unfortunately just looking at the PD tags on commons.wikimedia isn’t good enough as they rarely provide proof and anyone can edit them; the project could get into real copyright trouble without having proof of PD.
The Missing 20th Century: How Copyright Protection Makes Books Vanish (2012), https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/the-m... (one of those rare articles where it makes sense to turn your ad blocker off)
Dr. Martin Luther King wrote and delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech more than fifty years ago. When he obtained copyright protection on the speech in 1963... the copyright on the “I Have a Dream” speech will not expire until the end of 2058. Because the Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc. and its affili- ates have closely guarded the speech in a copyright enforcement and li- censing sense, the public seldom sees more than snippets of one of the most highly regarded speeches in history.
And there are many more examples like this. Copyright was supposed to foster creativity and the distribution of knowledge. Know it's used to stifle competition, and to protect corporate interests.
More blame should be laid that copyright law in general has extended the time frame all at a time when receiving the compensation from the works happens faster than ever. And it has extended it to such a length, it increases the chances of losing works to missed archival for all but the most popular material.
They are under no obligation to enforce the copyright and refuse a liberal license.
Anyway, archiving is exempted from copyright.
Archiving under some strict prohibitions are possible, but it's sort of a narrow window which is difficult for e.g. abandoned commercial works.
In the same vein, they are under no obligation to _not_ give it away from free. Their actions are purely a choice, free from obligation. That said, lack of obligation does not act as a shield from criticism. Quite the opposite.
Personally, I might blame the descendants of Disney the most if they had significant voting shares in Disney Corp, but as to the rest I doubt played a key role in the expanding copyright to the degree it has today.
You can absolutely blame people for doing that. An action's legality and blameworthiness are completely separate things. Many legal things are blameworthy (e.g. talking in a movie theater, adultery, tricking people into eating items their religion forbids). The idea that you can't blame people for doing things they're allowed to do under the law seems to assume that everything bad should be illegal, which would result in a pretty draconian state of affairs.
Are you saying none of these is the full speech? Some are even explicitly labeled as such.
The full text of the speech also is widely available, including via the National Archives in the U.S.:
It's not exactly hard to find, and perfectly legally:
> You may not remove, copy, alter, reproduce, modify, create derivative works of, republish, post, publicly perform, publicly display, broadcast, download, transmit, distribute, license or commercially exploit, in whole or in part, the Content or this Site, except as expressly permitted by these Terms, the functionality of the Site, or, if applicable, by the respective content owner as indicated in any end user license agreement, if any, that accompanies such Content, provided that you include without modification all copyright and other proprietary notices contained in the Content. 
Even though the content on the site itself may be used in personal and educational setting, the content may be covered by additional licenses. And oh boy, does "I Have a Dream" have a license. And King Estate is more than happy to sue you over it. More details, are here: http://www.trademarkandcopyrightlawblog.com/2018/01/martin-l... and here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/08/...
No such Fair Use exemptions exist in a lot of countries. We have relatively Draconian Fair Dealing in UK, in which there is no general personal exemption nor an educational exemption.
Schools are supposed to have music licences if they have a TV licence because music played in a TV broadcast would otherwise amount to an illegal performance/distribution. It's beyond ridiculous.
Ripping a CD using iTunes is tortuous in the UK, for example. In theory Apple are contributory infringers but the absurd breadth of the copyright law isn't there to hold corporations to account ...
Presumably tortuous use of King's works would be prosecuted in the jurisdiction in which it is used.
Note also that the US 1923 rule applies to the date of publication: works that were created earlier may not have been published until much later. This typically happens with photographs.
Edit: and don't expect stock images sites to tell you when an image has fallen into the public domain. They will go on issuing licenses forever. The licenses are bogus, but there don't seem to be any legal repercussions.
Dumbo had some seriously good music though! I'm pumped for that one too!
This is excellent. Now I just hope they all get converted to text by project Gutenberg and then hopefully some mashing together with Mycroft  and finally I'll have Jeeves.
Rule 34 indeed. I honestly wonder, in this age of memes and YouTube, if we will see a sudden spasm of creative remixing of the newly open content. Think of the movie Kung Pow but with much more 4Chan-like variety.
Film that he's appeared in, however, is under copyright and yes, his earliest films could indeed fall into the public domain.
> When that expires, Steamboat Willie can be given away, sold, remixed, turned pornographic, or anything else. (Mickey himself doesn’t lose protection as such, but his graphical appearance, his dialog, and any specific behavior in Steamboat Willie—his character traits—become likewise freely available. This was decided in a case involving Sherlock Holmes in 2014.)
And at the end :
> And in 2024, we might all ring in the new year whistling Steamboat Willie’s song.
There is also trademark law. You can show mickey mouse movies, but that doesn't mean you can create your own.
Trade marks are intended for consumer protection. As long as you made it abundantly clear (everywhere) that your work was NOT a Disney work, and that it was instead a distinctly branded other work which happened to include Mickey Mouse (even in a leading role), based off of the features of the public domain version of the character (and possibly mixing in elements obvious to contemporary authors in a generic sense), then it would PROBABLY be worth talking to an actual trademark/imaginary property lawyer to see if the idea is uniquely expressive enough to be a new work.
1. Everyone must register their copyright in a searchable database. Registration is free and good for 10 years.
2. At the end of 10 years, you must renew your copyright. If you have transferred ownership, you must submit the chain of custody.
Edit: New option 3a.
3. The cost of renewal will be 10% of the estimated value of the copyright to the rights holder for the next ten years.
3a. The cost of renewal will be 10% of what you made off of it in the last 10 years. If you made nothing you pay nothing. You can renew two times and pay nothing. After that you either have to commercialize or release the copyright. This fee will be on top of income taxes, but be enforced the same way, through audits similar to the IRS. This would obviate the need for 4a/b.
4a. To keep the rights holder honest, after they submit their estimated value, any other person may buy the copyright from them for 110% of the estimated value within 90 days.
4b. Another way to keep them honest instead is to make the rights holder submit tax forms to prove their estimate was valid, and pay a penalty if they were too far off.
5. If it's not in the database or the fee isn't paid, it's public domain.
6. Initial registrations for existing copyrights will be done on a rolling basis on the closest decennial anniversary of the initial copyright. The person registering must show proof that they currently own the copyright by demonstrating that they were the creator or they purchased the or inherited the rights from the creator.
7. You may extend your copyright for as long as you want, as long as you pay the fee.
I think this addresses most everyone's concerns.
- Disney gets to keep Mickey Mouse forever, as long as they keep making money from it.
- The public no longer has to wonder if a particular work is copyrighted or not, because if it's not in the database then it isn't copyrighted.
- Creators are still incentivized to create because they can hold a monopoly as long as it's valuable to them.
- If you go with option 4a, then it might actually make for even greater works. For example, Fox owns the rights to Star Wars Episode 4. But that alone is not nearly as valuable to them as it is to Disney, who could put it in box sets. So Fox is now incentivized to sell their copyright since it Disney could come in and buy it for 110% of what they claim it is worth to them.
This is a work in progress, and I'd love to know where I missed things.
This alone would force many things that are actively being developed into the PD, because people won't have the funds on hand. Unless I misunderstand your proposal.
And, the impact of that would be that richer companies would swoop in and get free work. Sounds bad. Real bad.
For example, from the Wikipedia page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting): According to Lucasfilm, Return of the Jedi, despite having earned $475 million at the box office against a budget of $32.5 million, "has never gone into profit"
Disney could renew the copyright on "Return of the Jedi" for pennies on the dollar.
So if my copyright is legitimately worth $1000 (because I'm not a big company, I just wrote some eBook that sells 100 copies a year) someone can steal it from me for $1100?
Also note that the initial copyright grant is free in this proposal; so you get 10 years of monopoly on distribution.
> If you only make $100/year on it, then a company can buy it from you for $1,100, which is more than you would make in the next ten years from holding the copyright. I
Sometimes these things are more sentimental then monetary.
Also, the way you word that, essentially it is a 10% tax on copyrighted work. Though the point about it being a 10 year monopoly is a fair one.
Another example is development and development hell. Let's consider the same show. Its value is still zero on the books. It ain't sellin', yo! For years! However, there's a script and development for a movie based on it. Trouble is, it's been in development (money gathering, mostly) for the past seven or so years. Once the movie is made and has a venue run, maybe that old IP will be of some value again... or like in the case before, as a package or gratis with the movie. Who knows?
These are just trivial examples. TV business revolves around producing 'packages'. Be it a single show of 80+ shows or packages that offer the same or anything in between. It's easier to sell it that way, because time slots can then be populated during the season easily. No one wants to buy one of anything, unless it's Star Wars or anything of that calibre. By selling those packages to TV networks and stations, with rights anything between 1-5 years (one viewing + one re-run, or unlimited re-runs) and for their particular geographical location only, distributors and studios have a constant stream of revenue. They do various combinatorics with their portfolio in order to ensure constant stream. Without geo locks and without numbers (of shows), TV networks and stations won't buy, and they are A LOT better market than one or two providers like Netflix. That's also the reason why Netflix sucks outside of US and why they're moving towards their own production (Amazon also).
I think, and I may be wrong (but I am in that business), is first you have to break that revenue model. Once producers have another model to get revenue, then options will arise to get rid of stupidities around IP. One cannot look into other directions, like music business, since production costs are magnitudes higher and most TV and film stuff produced already calculate 10-20+ years of revenue down the stream. As it is now, once you produce 80+ of anything, it's guaranteed revenue (either for that or as an added bonus for something else) forever practically. How do you break that first? They will fight that aggressively.
Aside from all that, Lynda Obst talked about ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_oHW31jQfg ) how Netflix killed DVD market and how that cascaded into what we have now, considering quality and other stuff. Interesting interview, and all true, if you're interested in the problem space from TV and Film perspective.
I also know that Netflix figured out how to put a value on pretty much any piece of content, and I'm sure the government could do it too.
We have to be careful, though, not to let the idea of a clever solution get in the way of defining the problem. What, fundamentally, is the societal benefit of expiring the copyright?
In my opinion, the main condition that a copyright holder has to satisfy is to make the work available at a reasonable price. Increasingly this is the problem, that copyright holders both make a work unavailable and continue to hold the copyright, preventing the access to the material in any form. I feel that this is the tradeoff that society makes in exchange for allowing the monopoly. Once the holder can no longer (or will no longer, or does no longer) distribute the material, then it should revert to the public domain, as the public interest is no longer served by that copyright.
The solution above lets holders keep copyright as long as they're making money off of it, but offers no societal benefit other than the money paid into the copyright renewal fund.
10 years seems reasonable, however, some exception might be added, specifically scientific articles should be limited to 3 years max.
Copyrights may be licensed, but not transferred.
Copyright should not be up for extension and should immediately go to the public domain after the initial 10 years.
For works that are continuous, copyright is valid for 5 years from the last major update.
However there is something far more important to Congress than celebrities or money: votes. Hollywood and congress knows that there are a significant number of voters who are not happy about copyright extensions and are watching. They know very well that if a copyright extension passes some of them will lose their job, and that is not something few are willing to risk.
Then when you back out to the primaries, how many primaries are going to be won because the incumbent voted for copyright extensions?
This is like the tech hysteria against Facebook, I'm not saying it wasn't warranted, but most people who do know the details just shrugged and kept posting cat videos....
I don't know if they vote alone party lines, but the fact that we have switched between democrat and republican presidents regularly is proof that enough people change their vote.
Even ignoring that, those who do vote parties lines and vote in primaries are also likely to be the ones doing volunteer work to get their guy elected. Make them mad and they will vote the party, but they won't do as much work and that can swing an election.
“independent” voters show the same degree of partisan consistency as those identifying with a party.
> I don't know if they vote alone party lines, but the fact that we have switched between democrat and republican presidents regularly is proof that enough people change their vote.
It's more proof of the fact that the composition of the eligible electorate and which of them actually turn out to vote changes; the assumption that the same people are voting in every election so changed party outcomes are driven by voters flipping from one party to another is inaccurate.
The presidential election is skewed by the electoral college, congressional voting isn't.
> the fact that we have switched between democrat and republican presidents regularly is proof that enough people change their vote
Not really. Only half the eligible voters actually vote in presidential elections. Different voters come out to vote at different times in different states for different reasons, and some of those may switch their vote, but the majority vote along party lines as noted in the above articles.
The presidential elections are swung by having more ideologically extreme past presidents. Two terms of Clinton led to two terms of Bush led to two terms of Obama leads into two terms of Trump, and then we'll have two terms of Bernie or something equally extreme, like a transgender asexual black mexican jew. (And I just looked it up - there is a transgender queer black mexican rabbi in Chicago, but unfortunately you can't get elected in this country without being a proud Christian)
Anyone eagerly awaiting any other big hits from yesteryear? Which ones?
On a serious note, the damage Disney has done to culture is terrible and must be stopped.
Sure they have innovations, but closing themselves off hurts growth.
I had avoided full stack programming because I didnt want to deal with buying apple products to make an IOS app.
We need to culturally shame people who are trying to own ideas.
The business is legit. The way they protect it may be legal, but it is not legit. (Not legal advice, just a moral judgement.)
Resolve the factual disagreements, and most moral disputes go away.