Wednesday, December 26, 2007

When 70 years after the death of the creator isn't enough ...

Egypt has decided to essentially copyright its antiquities, according to this article from the BBC. How they're going to enforce this, and why other countries should pay any attention, I'm not quite sure ...

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At December 26, 2007 9:59 PM , Blogger Dwight Williams said...

This is the kind of thing that will rightly leave the likes of Cory Doctorow, Michael Geist and Russell McOrmond rolling on the floor laughing for weeks on end. They'll need to be fed and watered by IV, because of the length and depth of their laughing fits.

And I may join them over this.

At December 27, 2007 12:08 AM , Blogger redlion said...

I suppose at this point in time most of Egypt is descended from Imhotep, so that solves who gets the royalties.

At December 27, 2007 8:42 AM , Anonymous Don Quijote said...

They are learning from the best.

Disney, The Copyright Term Extension Act, And eldred V. Ashcroft

Back in 1998, representatives of the Walt Disney Company came to Washington looking for help. Disney's copyright on Mickey Mouse, who made his screen debut in the 1928 cartoon short "Steamboat Willie," was due to expire in 2003, and Disney's rights to Pluto, Goofy and Donald Duck were to expire a few years later.

Rather than allow Mickey and friends to enter the public domain, Disney and its friends - a group of Hollywood studios, music labels, and PACs representing content owners - told Congress that they wanted an extension bill passed.

Prompted perhaps by the Disney group's lavish donations of campaign cash - more than $6.3 million in 1997-98, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics - Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

The CTEA extended the term of protection by 20 years for works copyrighted after January 1, 1923. Works copyrighted by individuals since 1978 got "life plus 70" rather than the existing "life plus 50". Works made by or for corporations (referred to as "works made for hire") got 95 years. Works copyrighted before 1978 were shielded for 95 years, regardless of how they were produced.

Why should Disney have all the fun?

At this point, I am assuming that when the new copyright terms run out in about a century or so, a new congress will extend them.

Disney -> Copyrights in Perpetuity.

At December 27, 2007 5:35 PM , Blogger Kirstin said...

Well, shouldn't the product of those workers go to support their children, and their children's children, and their children's children's children, and so on in perpetuity?

Eventually we'll have a whole new leisure class made up entirely of those whose ancient ancestors produced some piece of intellectual "property." Because, unlike real property, which will some day whither and crumble to dust (even the pyramids), intellectual property doesn't have to have an expiry date. All we need is an army of lawyers to copyright every permutation possible, and we're set.


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