I just finished reading Lessig's 'Free Culture'. Even though the book is from 2004 and a lot has happened since, he does show compelling evidence that Big Content is basically working on *eliminating* the public domain, since copyright keeps on being extended and therefor the amount of work that falls into the public domain is small.
Since the amount of work that need copyright for life+70yrs is about 2 percent (only 6% of books get reprinted after 1 YEAR, let alone 70), it's not hard to see how scary the prospects for the public domain are. I'm all for the rights of artists to benefit for creations, but there's a lot of stuff out there that creators or rightsholders somehow can't figure out how to profit from and so they let it sit on a shelf somewhere. IMHO this content should be in the public domain, where we could profit from it culturally if it was widely available.
Last year a well-known research institute in the Netherlands actually proved that file sharing, although slightly harmful for the labels and studios (probably in respect to commercially viable content), had huge cultural benefits and was good for society as a whole.
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