Why Does Copyright Last 70 Years After Death... But Licenses Expire At Death?
from the questions-to-ponder dept
Last week, we were among the group of folks who wrote about some articles highlighting the fact that, when you die, your library of digital goods likely dies with you, thanks to ridiculous licensing terms and DRM (and ignoring unauthorized copies). Over the weekend, there was a silly -- and quickly proven bogus -- story claiming that Bruce Willis was so incensed by this that he was going to file a lawsuit on the legality of passing down his digital content to his children. While that story appears to have been a work of fiction by the UK's Daily Mail, it did lead to a great observation by Kevin Marks who compared the lifetime of copyright to the lifetime of the licenses you get:
How is it that copyright lasts 70 years after death, but licenses expire at death?The simplest answer is that the big legacy entertainment industry players have lobbyists. And their customers do not. So we've created a system that massively favors one side over the public -- despite the fact that, if we believe the US Constitution, copyright is supposed to be for the benefit of the public.