I very much support ARSC's efforts to change U.S. copyright laws, especially regarding decades-old
recordings. I don't think there is any intent to weaken the copyright on NEW recordings and NEW
songs. The intent is to make widely available old recordings that have been out of print for
decades, are "economically unviable" to their owners as demonstrated by the fact that they are out
of print, and are long overdue to be in the PD. The original intent of copyright law (and patent
law) was to give an innovator of something truly new protection to exploit for fame or money that
new thing for a certain term, originally a short term. What we have now are patent laws that seem
too broad as to what's a unique claim and copyrights that extend, effectively, forever. That's not
the intent as mentioned in the original laws and documents.
Bottom line, I think if you or I come up with an original idea, device, song, book, etc, we deserve
strong intellectual property protection for a "reasonable" period of time (I think a term of 25-30
years is fair, it's more than a generation and many books, songs and recordings don't stay in print
nearly that long, and technology certainly marches forward faster than that). After that, no ifs
ands or buts about it, it goes into the PD. In the case of recordings, in this new digital era, it
should be very simple to deposit a clone of the master file with the government authority issuing
the copyright. When the copyright expires, the clone would automatically move to a public-access
server and be in the PD. Same for written words and written music that would gain copyright
protection. Patents are already publicly-available, more as a "warning" to would-be violators that
these specific claims are protected by this patent number. As for older recordings, I think all
material older than whatever "reasonable" term should immediately become PD but I think that the
owners of the master media should get some sort of tax break or other incentive to turn the masters
over to the LOC and fund their proper digitization so they can be readily and widely available to
the public. I know, it's an idealistic daydream!
The quid pro quo in this should be even stronger protections on intellectual property for this
"reasonable" term. The US would probably have to work within some sort of international framework if
there's any hope of a global treaty extending the same enforcement everywhere. Even in that case,
will countries like China, with a huge copyright-violations business economy, ever sign the treaty?
Again, my beef is not with strong protections, it's with endless copyright and patent terms. This
was intended to be a much shorter period of protection.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Olhsson" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 1:48 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Morning reading: One take on patents, somewhat related to discussions we've
had on copyrights, plus a take on copyrights
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Thatcher Graham "I have never seen anyone who works with media argue
> that patents are too "soft." Doesn't the ARSC typically argue that copyright
> is already too harsh..."
> I'm afraid lots of ARSC people want to exploit recordings that they didn't
> pay for creating. As I said, the rationalizations for weakening copyright
> are endless. "Preservation" is a pretty common one.
> Unfortunately the consequence will be (some would argue already is) lots
> worse new recordings in the future. I think it's really magical thinking to
> suggest otherwise. Do we really want a world where the only quality choice
> will be historical recordings?
> Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
> Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control
> Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
> 615.562.4346 http://www.bobolhsson.com http://audiomastery.com