If the copyright hadn't expired long long long after the majority of people are interested, those works might be getting a great deal more attention. How many people who saw them in the theater are still alive today?
You know the old adage "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"? I think an appropriate addendum would be "never attribute to ignorance that which is adequately explained as paid rhetoric."
A long time ago, they passed a law preventing movie studios from owning theaters as it was unfair; movie theaters were essentially the only place to see art of this nature, and studios could (and did) limit shows to films they produced.
I've been thinking that law is obsolete for some time, but perhaps it really just needs to be expanded to include ISPs. Perhaps it should be illegal to be a content provider and an internet service provider, as companies cannot be trusted to treat other content providers fairly.
What are the odds of any given piece of copyright protected artwork surviving the 150 or so years before it can be legally copied? A huge percentage of films from the last century literally dissolved in their canisters before they could do so.
>Kirk and the entire USTR seem to have taken exactly the wrong lesson from this. Rather than recognizing that the way to pass comprehensive trade agreements is to actually be more open and involve the public from the very beginning, so that there's more widespread agreement and support for what the USTR is doing, they've gone in the other direction.
That only applies if your goal is to pass an agreement beneficial to the public. If that's not your goal, then you want to completely avoid those sucking little rodents stealing the life force from true American corporation owners.