First off, I have no relation to Deborah Bouchoux or her textbook. I make no monetary gain from anyone buying it or not. Secondly, I am an expert. I have the university transcripts and the law license hanging on my wall to prove it. Thirdly, your opinion is meaningless since it is based on zero understanding of the ACTUAL law. You obviously can't propose any sound reforms if you don't understand what we currently have. Fourthly, I am intervening, as an expert, because of the widespread ignorance on these boards. If people choose to discount the advice of an expert and instead rely on the uneducated advice of laypeople, that is their problem, not mine. I am perfectly happy with them having to come to me at some future date and paying me and my attorneys a large sum of money to get them out of the jam their ignorance has put them in. Lastly, my opinion is based on solid education and reality, which gives it far more weight in the world than your uneducated opinion based on misinformed conjecture.
Copyright Law 101: Copyright exists the moment an author creates something. There is ABSOLUTELY NO requirement that the work be published, bought, sold, offered for sale, or submitted to the Library of Congress. Copyright exists for the life of the author plus 80 years. After the 80 years is up, the work falls into the public domain and anybody can use the work. Copyright also includes the rights to exclusively publish sequels and assign or transfer all rights to another party. No one can copyright "facts," since no one actually creates "facts"; they are merely discovered. For instance, you can't copyright, (or patent) a mathmatical equation. That equation always existed; you merely discovered it. You also can't copyright the stats of your favorite pro baseball player. If he got 100 home runs last year, that is a fact and is thus not copyrightable. However, if you put those facts in a new original compilation such as a book, then the book itself is copyrightable. The facts in the book still remain un-copyrightable, however. Anybody can use them. "Fair Use" means that you can use a tiny snippet of a piece in your own work for critique or to illustrate a point. You can never use the entirety of a work, or the "heart of the work", however. Performance of a copyrighted work in a small social gathering is acceptable. For instance, you do not need permission to sing "Happy Birthday" to a kid at his birthday party. You do not need permission to perform a copyrighted play amongst a group of friends at a social gathering.
You make the mistake of assuming there is a need for copyright reform. There isn't. Nothing needs to be reformed. The problem lies with people who have no legal education misunderstanding the laws that exist and how they are applied. I suppose if I had the same incorrect preconceived notions as some of the people on this board, I would also think there is a need for copyright reform. However, I actually spent a great deal of time and money being educated by top ABA Intellectual Property Law attorneys. Therefore, I know what the actual copyright law is and why it does indeed work. You may think that is "un-humble", but it is a fact that I know what I'm talking about. I'm not going to waste my time or anybody else's time pretending the people on this board have the same level of expertise that I have. I also don't have the time or space to educate everyone here on what actual Intellectual Property law is and why the system we currently have does indeed work and ultimately benefits everyone. The best I can do is tell laypeople to read Deborah Bouchoux's textbook. ISBN: 1401842879. Only after reading this text will laypeople have the prerequisite knowledge of copyright and patent law to be able to have a meaningful discussion.
You don't understand the meaning of "rights." You can sell anything tangible that you own. You have the right to use your house or your car or anything else that you lawfully own. You can sell or transfer your right to copy something because you own the copyright, and a copyright is a tangible thing. You can't sell your free speech rights or your right to vote because those aren't tangible goods.
That is a horrible solution. Patents are a 20 year monopoly given by the government to the patent holder. The rationale behind patents is that individuals or corporations spend a lot of money inventing something, and they need those 20 years to recoup their R@D costs plus make a profit. Without the 20 year monopoly, no one would have an incentive to spend money inventing something. Without patents, the leeches would let someone else spend the money on R@D and then reverse engineer the invention. After 20 years, anyone can produce the invention and society benefits as a whole. I hear all the time how Big Pharma is so evil because drugs that people need, like Prozac, are so expensive. This is just pure ignorance. True, for 20 years Big Pharma had a patent on Prozac and it was expensive. But then Prozac came off patent and anyone could produce it and the prices dropped drastically. If Big Pharma hadn't had those 20 years to recoup its R&D costs and make a profit, it would never have developed Prozac in the first place and 20 years down the road there wouldn't have been anything to come off patent and benefit humanity forever more.
Once again, don't believe the advice of legally ignorant people. They will get you into trouble. Copyright automatically exists when something is put into tangible form. Contrary to the MISTAKEN popular belief, it does not have to be published, bought, sold, offered for sale, or submitted to the Library of Congress for copyright to exist. Copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 80 years. --a Paralegal who specializes in Intellectual Property Law. (Don't even get me started on the mistaken beliefs laypeople have regarding patents)
I'm a paralegal who has actually taken Intellectual Property Law courses from top ABA attorneys, which consists of the disciplines of copyright, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. The author of this article is way off base on copyright law. A copyright automatically exists when something is put into tangible form. Contrary to popular belief it DOES NOT have to be published, bought, sold, or submitted to the Library of Congress for copyright to exist. Copyright exists for the life of the author plus 80 years. That's it. After that, it is in the public domain. There is no letter from the 1700's that is not in the public domain. If you took that letter and incorporated it in some book on letters from the 1700's, then that book gets its own copyright, but the individual letter is in the public domain and is free for anyone to copy. Likewise, no one can copyright facts. That is why anyone can publish NFL game stats and scores and schedules. Those are FACTS, and facts don't belong to anyone.
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