by Mike Masnick
Wed, Dec 26th 2007 4:09am
We've had plenty of posts discussing the ridiculousness of copyright extension, especially when it applies to works retroactively. However, we're usually talking about content created in the last century. Not any more. It seems that this era's obsessions with misunderstanding the purpose of copyright is about to taken to a new level of absurdity. Chris was among many of you who took time out of your holiday feasts to alert us to the fact that Egypt is preparing to "copyright" the pyramids, the sphinx and other Egyptian antiquities. Of course "copyright" is being used loosely here. Realistically, it sounds like some Egyptian politicians need to come up with a plan to raise more tax revenue for the government, and so they came up with this bizarre plan to pretend that they can tax anyone who creates a likeness of famous Egyptian monuments. Apparently this decision came just days after a newspaper editorial suggested that the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas owes the Egyptian gov't a share of its profits. Realistically, this has nothing to do with copyright at all, but is simply just an excuse to try to try to bring in additional tax revenue by misappropriating the concept of copyright as a weak rationale for the tax. However, in an age where copyright supporters want people to think that copyright is the same thing as real property, it's much easier to get people to believe this is a reasonable proposal. Of course, given that the real purpose of copyright is supposed to be about creating incentives for the creation of new content, does this mean we're going to start seeing new pyramids start springing up in Egypt anytime soon?
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