Fathers in their wisdom provided for copyright protection for
a limited time in the Constitution:
8. The Congress shall have power:
the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited
times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective
writings and discoveries"
term of copyright was 28 years max. As you can see, the idea behind
copyright law was not enrichment of the creator, but promotion
of science and useful arts.
have subverted this idea and successfully pushed for copyright
terms which continue to get longer and longer. And while you bemoan
artists losing out on royalties from their creations, keep in
mind that the copyrights are usually owned by the corporations,
not the creators.
Of all the
points mentioned, the basic assumption is that these recordings
still have a viable retail use after 50 years.
was released in 1968 and would expire in 2018. How many copies
sell now on a yearly basis and how many would be sold in 2018?
Would it even be in print? What format, a download? I know, pennies
make dimes, dimes make dollars and so on. But again, what's the
retail value? What level outside of a track or two on a compilation
would the coming generations have in not just Jethro Tull but
in anything so old to those fresh ears? If big money was there
for the record companies from material already at 50+ years, we'd
see an endless string of quality reissues. We'd not have to shout
to the deaf to get things on the market that are just 30 or 40
years old and forgotten.
Cliff Richard's early material as an example of that which will
soon fall into pd (public domain) status. Anyone at EMI issue
a sales statement as to how many copies of a CD have been sold
the past year or so based on including "Move It" or "Schoolboy
Crush"? Anybody talk to Jasmine or Proper and see the millions
they're raking in from their Vera Lynn or Cowboy Copas sets? Even
the appeal those reissues have now won't be there in a few years.
idea is noble but, in my opinion, unrealistic.
mind-numbing to realize that people don't understand how essential
the public domain is/should be!
domain is the freely-accessible intellectual property pool of
modern society. Anybody can delve into it, create derivative works,
et cetera. In the current intellectual property climate, though,
it's become fashionable to denigrate the importance of the public
domain, and several countries seem to be on the path towards extending
copyright protection into perpetuity. The UK has the only *sensible*
copyright protection length left around, as far as I know. (In
the US, the Beatles won't be in the public domain for an ungodly
length of time. Most of us will be dead by the time it becomes
*legal* to do that "Paperback Believer" mashup.)
I have a hard time feeling sorry for Ian. The continued expansion
of Copyright lengths is ridiculous and does nothing to benefit
the public at large. The limiting of Copyrights served three purposes,
one relating to the establishment of the copyright and the other
two relating to the loss of the copyright. The first was obviously
to ensure that the creator retained both control of the work and
the income generated by the work. The second was an admonishment
for creators to not rest on their laurels and remain productive.
The third was the acknowledgment that stories and songs will eventually
transcend their original intent and become an integral part of
the public consciousness. After giving the creator a sufficient
amount of time to be compensated, anyone who cares can utilize,
manipulate, rework, mondernize, etc, etc, etc.
continous extending of Copyright benefits very few individuals,
but lots of corporations. God forbid that the Disney Company be
told that if they want to keep raking in money on Mickey Mouse
cartoons, it might be time to make some new ones instead of standing
on ones made as far back as 1928. Or in RCA's (I guess now it's
Sony) case, being told that the Elvis gravy train is coming into
station, better break a new band or two.
And in Ian
Anderson/Jethro Tull's specific case... well, I'm touched that
Ian is concerned about his former bandmates. Maybe he could a)
give them a cut out of his own pocket (I don't think he's doing
too bad), b) let them back in the band, or c) tell them to get
off their bum's and do something new that people care about and
are willing to buy.
note, personally, I think Ian's got it backwards in any case.
The recorded performance should have a longer copyright than the
songwriting. That way the various members of Tull (in this case)
are still compensated for their actual performance, and the song
itself enters Public Domain to be covered, printed, used at will.
I think there
needs to be an international conference about Copyright. If this
is the age of globalization, then copyright needs to be standardized.
This patchwork thing is a mess.
that, we cannot let the media giants write it, like they've written
all these domestic extensions. In my opinion, they need to be
stripped of some of their privileges!
I think copyright
should go back to the original length, but I'd settle for 30 years.
I think that the label should lose copyright during the 30 year
period if the recording goes out of print for more than two years.
laws are having the exact opposite intent of the original law.
The Big Four have become primarily re-issue labels because the
recent legal revisions make that the most profitable thing for
them. Youthful musicans are worse off as they can't get signed
as labels increase their rehash activities. The public and artists
are screwed when labels are allowed to bury so much content as
they, indeed, do.
is starting to sound like a label executive... *shake* I'm sorry
if some of his mates haven't prospered. Handing over more copyright
power to a scant few media titans isn't going to help these guys
much! ...if any? It'll hurt everybody else!