Since When Has Copyright Become Life Plus 343 Years?

from the perpetual-copyright dept

If you follow copyright issues at all, you know that the length of copyright has been extended time and time again, mostly at the behest of entertainment industry interests who are fearful of their content falling into the public domain (even if they used public domain material to create their own content in the first place). However, copyrights do eventually expire, but it seems like fewer and fewer people recognize that. Jim writes in to point out the unfortunate example an IP lawyer discovered recently upon visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Despite the fact that the museum normally allows photographs (as long as there's no flash), it would not allow them in a display of artwork by Nicholas Poussin, who died in 1665. When questioned why the "no photography" rule was in place, he was told that it was because of the "copyright" on the artwork. While this is obviously a minor slip-up by a museum guard, it does show that people are becoming accustomed to the idea that copyright lasts forever, which is a serious problem. The more people understand copyright, and why limits on copyright are important, the more likely we are to start to shift the system away from the ridiculous levels it's reached.

Filed Under: copyright, metropolitan museum of art, nicholas poussin


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  1. identicon
    Clueby4, 14 Apr 2008 @ 3:12pm

    STFU with "Don't by the X"

    Please STFU with regard to "if you don't like it don't buy the book/movie/song/etc"

    The are using our tax dollars with bogus criminal investigations. They've gone so far to claim that terrorism (aka the bogeyman) as a benefactor of copyright violation. If the Fair-Use rapists used civil courts exclusively you might have a point with the "Don't buy" flappings, however since the don't you can pipe down.

    Copyright's original purpose was to benefit society, and to provide some benefit to the author as an incentive to create. Incentive, not a never-ending revenue stream. You shouldn't expect to be able to live off of an incentive, hence why most people have a problem with copyrights.

    Simply put copyright is broken, especially without any public domain requirements.

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