Now, let's consider the intricacies required to license said song as public domain in every country in the world. It's not pickiness, it's literally required to supply network services worldwide in several cases. There are several countries with terms even longer than Life+70: Mexico (Life+100), Ivory Coast / Côte D'Ivoire (Life+99), Colombia (Life+80), Samoa, Honduras, Guatemala, and Saint Vincent and Grenadines (Life+75). If you or your children, grandchildren or greatgrandchildren happened to move to any of those countries, your greatgrandchild would be in his 80's when said songs enter the public domain, and your greatgreatgrandchild (!) on his 55's.
Agreed. Projects like Secret Maryo Chronicles (a libre replacement of Mario Bros.), OpenSurge (a replacement of Sonic), TuxKart (Mario Kart), 0 A.D. (Age of Empires), StepMania (DDR/Pump It Up), and several others have been able to liberate the gamestyle of their original games while using unique and original characters and scenarios.
My wish to found a company that releases free-as-in-freedom hardware, devoid of any technology under restrictive patents or binary-only firmware, that builds and releases a cheap plug server based on it, specialized on hosting decentralized, encrypted, free-as-in-freedom networking services, is starting to turn, not just on a desirable reality, but also in a need.
This is one of the reasons why I avoid to work upon most public domain works: retroactive re-copyrighting. One day, for example, you publish the translation of a work from an author that died, say, 53 years ago, taking care of releasing it solely in the countries where life+50 applies, and not those with life+70 or beyond. The next day, the parliament of a country where you already released the translation declares that copyright is retroactively extended to life+70, and bam! Now you're a criminal, liable for infringement, most possibly about to be sued for the earnings of your book and then some more, even if the work is already declared as "orphan". I usually recommend people who do use public domain works in a common basis to use only works that are legally usable in all countries of the world (currently that means life+100, thanks to Mexico and Ivory Coast amogn others), in order to avoid both licensing fragmentation and unexpected retroactive licensing. The alternative is, of course, copyleft and liberal licensing, but even those are liable to retroactive relicensing as well (albeit in a more limited form).
Finally, a good example of the usage of trademarks as a mark of origin and trust. Even though I disagree with the other restrictions that Mozilla places on its trademark usage (e.g. not allowing free-software derivatives of Firefox to use its trademark, to the point that the IceWeasel and Icecat projects had to be created as a direct result), in this case they're totally correct into claiming it as a case of deluding unaware users, tricking them into trusting a product masquerading as a privacy-protecting program.
The best effort done towards making the cloud work for its users has been the federated social network, where anyone can host a local version of the network and communicate with other servers with only knowing the address to point at. Status.Net, Diaspora, Friendica, Pump.IO, just to name a few recent examples.
If we take into account that there is at least one country (Mexico) where the copyright of the Sherlock Holmes' series as a whole is still standing until at least 2031 (100 years after the death of the author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), then the defense of Doyle's estate can allege that Klinger and King are infringing in at least one country, which will grant them 8 more years than the estate claims!
At least the licensing conflict between the copyrighted songs and your former license has been lifted. But, the film as a whole is still fully copyrighted. I remember that there was a plan to crowdfund the purchase of the worldwide license of the songs; is that still on the works?
Exactly. And for the lyrics and tune to be in the worldwide public domain, we must wait not 70, but 100 years after the death of the last among McCartney, Starr and all other authors. Which means that, unless the average lifespan increases dramatically, we won't be able to live the day when the aforementioned song enters the true public domain.
"Jerry Brito [...] was publishing a book about the "free market case for copyright reform," called Copyright Unbalanced: From Incentive to Excess. [...] They also have a free chapter available on the site."
Wait... do you mean that a book about the excesses of copyright is itself copyrighted?
The entertainment industry is, perhaps, the only economic field where their leaders expect a large portion of their potential clients to not "consume their content" if they're unable to meet their demands. Heck, they even routinely blame them for not having the "fortitude to cope" with the unavailability of their favorite show, instead of, you know, actually expanding their market and making their productions more readily available.