Friday, January 01, 2010

Public Domain Day 2010

January 1 is Public Domain Day. But there is little to celebrate in the US, thanks to unwise extensions of copyright term. When applied retroactively to existing work, this has done nothing to encourage the creation of new work, since you can't increase the stock of works created in the past. It has put a huge number of works out of reach of legitimate public use.

The pre-1978 copyright terms were generous enough: 28 years, renewable for another 28. Let's go back to that. I'm begging you as an artist, because I create intellectual property, but I use it too, and locking up creative works for unreasonable terms hurts me more than it helps me.

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