Reason #247 Why You Should Pay For The NYTimes: To Keep Its Dead Obituary Writers Employed

from the wait,-what? dept

The big news of the day appears to be the death of actress Elizabeth Taylor. All the big news orgs are running obituaries, of course. And, as is typical with major celebrities, most of those news orgs had stock obituaries written long ago, which they pulled out, added a few final details, and posted. Of course, that leads to some odd situations, such as with the NY Times obituary for Ms. Taylor, in which it is noted that the author of the obituary actually died himself, nearly six years ago. While, again, lots of news orgs have pre-written obits, there does seem to be something a bit "off" in a newspaper claiming that it needs you to pay up to support its quality journalists... when it's using work done by someone who died years ago.

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  1. icon
    kyle clements (profile), 23 Mar 2011 @ 4:19pm

    Re: Re:

    I never understood the whole 'after death' thing they introduced into copyright

    The argument I use is that if copyright lasted for the duration of the artists life, and their work went into the public domain the day the artist died, unscrupulous people people could get content for free by taking out the artist.
    "That's a nice movie you've got there, but don't be asking too much for it, it'd be a shame if something happened to you..."

    A better way (in my opinion) would be having copyright based entirely on the date of first publication. "Publication + 20 years" or so seems reasonable. Life + 50 or Life + 70 makes absolutely no sense.

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