Link roundup to December 16

  • Copyright extension is out of tune with reality
    “I have never heard of a single band deciding not to record a song because it will fall out of copyright in only 50 years. The idea is laughable.” -- Copyright extension is a ridiculous proposal and Andy Burnham's argument in its favour is scandalously ignorant of the social contract underlying copyright and abusive of the trust the electorate places in him to protect Britain's cultural commons. Bravo Andrew Gowers!
  • Supreme Court Overturns Bush v. Gore
    ""Allowing this flaw in judgment to stand would set an unworkable precedent for future elections and cause irreparable harm to the impartiality of this court," said Chief Justice John G. Roberts in his majority opinion."
  • Bush sneaks through host of laws to undermine Obama
    My view of course is still that a goal of Bush's presidency has been to make the country ungovernable by the Democrats for as many years as possible. So this behaviour comes as no surprise.
  • Sydney Festival 2009 - Juana Molina
    Well what do you know - right at the end of my visit, something to look forward to.
Comments:

>Gore then delivered the first of seven consecutive State of the Union addresses.

How do they know that Gore would have won the second election? :-)

Posted by Alan Pae on December 16, 2008 at 06:20 AM PST #

This is one (of the few) place(s) where I believe US Copyright law does this better (although they also recently had an extension). They judge the copyright expiry based on the artists death, more specifically to be 70 years after their death. The idea being to provide for immediate family after death. Admittedly the extra 20 years that Sonny Bono got tacked on is probably a little over the top.

It also means that while the artist is alive, they own all the copyrights to their work, which i think is reasonable.

I believe it is different if a corporation owns them, but I won't address that as I don't understand it.

One of the most recent artists to have his work pass into public domain based on this was Robert Johnson (which is why I now have no qualms putting up a recording of one of his works that I did on my myspace and a few other places).

Oh and if you are going to be in Oz, I'd really like to catch up with you, at least for a beer (or three).

Alan.

Posted by Alan Hargreaves on December 16, 2008 at 10:29 AM PST #

There's a rather limp rejoinder piece by Burham on FT as well:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8ca0a7c6-cadd-11dd-87d7-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1

Note the subtle gear-change to famous vegan artists who don't want their masterpieces fronting for macdonalds from unknown session musicians who turn up and hit a drum or add doo-wops about half-way through.

The second group clearly deserve (and probably expect) no more rights than the guy who made sure the recording levels were correct or that the studio bins were emptied, yet they're pulled in because they are 'artists' who are plausibly poverty stricken for reasons other than wild drug abuse or being ripped off by the record industry.

But they're just like every other white-collar 'knowledge worker' whose ingenuity is immediately and forever owned by their employer. How many COBOL programmers would like to have received royalties?

It's also worth noting that the economics actually supported reducing copyright but that was felt by Gowers to be politically impossible at the time.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/04/26/gowers_music_copyright/

Posted by dave on December 17, 2008 at 11:33 PM PST #

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