95 Years Is Too Short For Copyright?

from the lovely-economics dept

Brandon writes in with this article about European copyrights on some great music from the 50’s expiring, causing American companies and the RIAA (of course) to freak out about all the competition they’re going to face from European labels who can (gasp!) simply put out the music themselves so that it’s available for more people to hear. The RIAA is apparently going to work to get customs agents to seize shipments of European CDs before they hit US shores. As Brandon points out, “the quote from the RIAA VP about 95 years being too short for copyright is great”. It reads, “the public sees icons like Mickey Mouse and thinks that the companies must by now have made their money.” Look, if they haven’t been able to make their money back in 95 years… they deserve to lose the damn copyright. Let someone else try to make some money off of it already.

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Comments on “95 Years Is Too Short For Copyright?”

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LittleW0lf says:

No Subject Given

[…]But, he added, 9 out of 10 sound recordings lose money. “Very few materials wind up generating the revenues that sustain an entire system[…]

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if the system is broke (9 out of 10 sound recordings lose money,) it is time to fix the problem, not the revenue streams.

95 years, and 50 years for that matter, is way too long for copyrights. If I’ve not made my money in 19 years, then I deserve to loose my copyrights. The forefathers were a whole hell of a lot smarter than the current twits when they made the length 19 years…but then again we didn’t have greedy, paranoid-schizophrenic, and monopolistic intellectual property companies in the states back then like the ones in Europe, who would have made writing itself copyright (and did, in the form of typecast copyrights) indefinately back then. The forefathers saw the greedy, monopolistic intellectual property companies of Europe back in the 1700s as an evil which should not be allowed to continue, and wrote them out of the constitution using limits to copyrights and the introduction of the idea that the works created belonged to the people, and that the author temporarily received a limited monopoly on the ability to distribute their works, until the copyright expired and the work became ours.

I am happy to turn over all my work to the public domain after 19 years (even though a majority of my work is already open source, freely available…)

Before dorpus et. al., start screaming about communism, this isn’t an issue of communism (I believe the current situation is far more communistic than free market capitalism,) my only hint is take an economics course, and you’ll realize that copyright isn’t free market capitalism, because it offers a limited monopoly, which capitalism abhors.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: No Subject Given

Indeed. I think the thing that upsets me the most is when anyone suggests that giving away stuff for free goes against capitalism.

Capitalism is all about an open market where the market can set the price – even if it’s zero. In fact, in the case of digital goods and ideas where the marginal cost to reproduct it is zero, the price will get forced to zero if the market is truly competitive.

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