I don't agree that it's the device industry that stands to gain by allowing the public domain to open again. There's no money to made even from the vast majority of recordings that remain in corporate hands. They are unavailable precisely becuase there's no significant money in them. The device industry is much more concerned with the latest way to hear Mariah Carey, etc. Content isn't even their concern.
Artists of every age have always had to compete with the past. If they can't, too bad. The ones who offer something new will find their audiences, and will have every legitimate claim to copyright protection. Currently, record companies are more concerned with selling their viable back catalogs than finding good new artists. It's cheaper, after all. But as someone else said recently, if they eventually can't make any money off the Beatles et al. then they'll be forced to find new stuff that people will actually want to buy.
Copyright was designed precisely to deprive individuals (and corporations) of their intellectual property after a certain time so that the public could then use it freely. At that point, contrary to Mr. Ohlman's claim, there is little to no money to be made from it, as nobody has any claim to it. Or rather, all have the same opportunity to use, recast, or remake the material to create new products, e.g. Disney with Peter Pan, etc. The argument that the current terms of copyright are too long has been well made by many individuals, and that argument still stands.
>>> [log in to unmask] 05/16/06 12:41 PM >>>
We need to be concerned about the long arm of all corporations including those profiting from selling devices for reproducing intellectual property. They are the principal beneficiaries of an enlarged public domain. The victims are contemporary composers, authors and recording artists who are forced to compete directly with historical (and pirated) material that is available for free.
This isn't really about the public vs. the record companies. It's about the electronics industry having a steady source of cheap "content" available so they can sell everybody an unending stream of trendy patented gadgets.
And the real story is that the world has shrunk and all nations are making their copyright terms consistent. This means matching the longest because anything less deprives individuals of their property. Yes, this costs some people their opportunity to make money on public domain recordings.
What I'd like to know is how one justifies the perpetual ownership of real estate!
>There are many musicians in the US who are concerned about the long arm of the
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