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
    Reverend Joe, 14 Apr 2008 @ 5:22pm

    Re: Constitution

    > If you want to argue "limited times", call your congressman.

    I agree with the 1st part, but not the 2nd.

    I *AM* "arguing limited times", but explicitly NOT by "calling my congressman". That would be like "arguing taxation without representation" by "writing a strongly-worded letter to The King of England". Or like "campaigning for office" by "screaming at a tree". Or like "getting some work done" by "masturbating to porn". Or like ... well, you get the idea.

    I prefer to stick with my Boston-Tea-Partying method of argument, thank you very much.

    It seems to be having, as historical analysis would indicate, ACTUAL results.

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