I'll just throw this out there: Why is patent law, which governs IP
(Intellectual Property) which may have been far more expensive to
develop than copyrighted material, and where often much larger
commercial revenues are at stake - yet it is only limited to 20 years,
whether it is being used or not. Consider, too, that the patent
application process is far more involved than copyright. And
defending patents can be as costly or more costly than defending
So, what makes copyrights so much different from patents that
copyrights require significantly longer periods of protection
that in most cases outlive the original copyright holder?
Might the key to arguing for shorter copyright periods lie in looking
at patent law?
The Audio Archive
---- Original message ----
>Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 12:11:26 -0700
>From: Mike Richter <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] [78-l] "Isn't 50 years of copyright enough?"
(copyright extension sought for sound recordings in Europe)
>To: [log in to unmask]
>At 02:39 PM 8/17/2004 -0400, Steven C. Barr wrote:
>>1) Anent the unusual lifespan of more-or-less recent pop recordings...I
>>find this to be an oddity, and often wonder who is to blame! I believe
>>it was a year or so ago that the top-of-the-charts album was a Beatles
>>anthology...and that group hasn't existed for about 35 years! This would
>>be akin to Whiteman heading record sales in 1960...and in 1960 I think
>>the only way you could hear Whiteman (and his contemporaries) was to
>>search out 78's! As well, RCA still pumps out Presley and Miller
>>anthologies, which go back even further!
>>2) I've always felt there should be a "use it or lose it" approach
>>to sound recordings...that is, the copyright holder could only retain
>>the copyright as long as the recording was maintained in the "person's"
>1) The extended lifespan is the norm in the classical field. Most
>contemporary artists would appreciate the sales invoked by such names as
>Callas, Caruso. Gould and Toscanini. Of course, in pop the music itself is
>different over time, but I can think of no contemporary classical composer
>whose sales rival those of Mozart, Beethoven or Verdi.
>2) On 'use it or lose it', I agree heartily. There is hope in the classical
>field with labels such as Testament and issues such as those from Black Dog
>and Leventhal licensing material for reissue. They are proving that
>lower-cost, lesser-name labels can profit where the Big Boys (in those
>cases, EMI) cannot or will not find a way. There is also a rich trove of
>top-quality, low-cost reissues from Naxos, but those are not supposed to be
>available in the U.S.
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