points us to yet another story of copyright law gone mad. Laurel Russwurm explains how there are numerous creative projects that she's worked on, including TV shows that she's written
, that she's never seen and probably will never see
, due to copyright.
In the years since writing the script, I’ve only ever found one commercial Neverending Story VHS tape from the series in Canada. And it didn’t include my episode. But the world has changed. The cost of the technology has dropped, and it is no longer prohibitively expensive to make copies. In recent years, the Neverending Story series has been made available online as Amazon downloads. Yay!
Except copyright prevents me from paying $1.99 and downloading a copy of ‘The Dreaming Field‘ for myself, because:
"Video Playback Not Authorized”
“Licensing restrictions” are part of copyright law. They call this “copyright protection,” but I really don’t see how this protects me as a creator. Sure, I was paid for the work. Over the years I’ve received sporadic tiny incremental sums. “Royalties.” A much greater percentage of the royalty is paid off the top to the copyright collective that administers these funds, supposedly “on my behalf”.
“We have detected that you are not located within the U.S. Due to licensing restrictions, Amazon Instant Video Customers must be located in the United States when viewing videos online.”
–Amazon.com: Neverending Story: Season 2, episode 19, “The Dreaming Field”: Amazon Instant Video
The argument that is always made in support of increasingly restrictive copyright law is that copyright protects creators. I don’t believe that.
Laurel also points out that this particular work was done 15 years ago. If copyright were 14 years, as it was originally, the work would now be in the public domain, and she could see it. As it stands, she'll probably never see it.