On 1/11/2011 2:55 PM, Bob Olhsson wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> > From Michael Biel:
> "...Mary Bono *LIED* to you..."
> She also told us that the United States had already signed the treaty
> calling for this. Was that a lie too?
It was the 1976 law -- not her law -- which was written with the Berne 
terms in mind but we did not sign with Berne until 1988. I don't know 
when you met with them, but as of the 1976 law we were ALREADY in accord 
with Berne.  No changes were necessary after the introduction of the 76 
law.  You either misunderstood what they were telling you or you were 
being tricked.

> Can you cite anything that proves her statements were a misrepresentation of
> the facts?  I'm certainly more inclined to believe her and congressman
> Cooper than stuff I read  in the internet.

 >>>The 1976 revision was undertaken for two primary reasons. First, 
technological developments and their impact on what might be 
copyrighted, how works might be copied, and what constituted an 
infringement needed to be addressed. Second, the revision was undertaken 
in anticipation of Berne Convention 
<> adherence by 
the U.S. It was felt that the statute needed to be amended to bring the 
U.S. into accord with international copyright law, practices, and 
policies. The 1976 act preempted all previous copyright law and extended 
the term of protection to life of the author plus 50 years (works for 
hire were protected for 75 years).<<<

As Pekka said, Berne establishes  MINIMUM standards of national 
copyright legislation in that each member state agrees to certain basic 
rules which their national laws must contain, though member states can 
if they wish increase the amount of protection given to copyright 
owners. One important minimum rule was that the term length was to be a 
minimum of the author's lifetime plus 50 years. It was 50 years then and 
it is 50 years now.  She was using the trick that we are allowed to set 
our standards higher than the Berne minimum.  So she upped it to 70.  If 
you check the chart on this site, you will see that many are still at 50 
but some have bumped it up to 70. (Click on the notation to 
"open all + sections" and scroll halfway down to the category sections.)

However you will notice in the cinema and sound recording sections that 
NONE of the other countries has anything like our collaborative 
(corporate) term of 95 (originally 75) years.  They ALL have a life of 
the author plus 50 or 70, and the author is a HUMAN BEING, usually the 
director and/or screenwriter.

Thus when it came to films and recordings they must have been pulling 
your leg because our terms are quite different and longer than Berne was 
and is.  In fact, there is a provision in the U.S. law which says we are 
not to be bound by any stricter or looser regulations in Berne:

US Copyright Office Publication 86A
International Copyright Relations of the United States
Section 104 of title 17 of the United States Code, which pertains
to the national origin of works receiving U.S. copyright
protection, is reprinted below.

(c) Effect of Berne Convention.---No right or
interest in a work eligible for protection under this title may
be claimed by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of
the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United States
thereto. Any rights in a work eligible for protection under
this title that derive from this title, other federal or state statutes,
or the common law, shall not be expanded or reduced
by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne
Convention, or the adherence of the United States thereto.

As Pekka said, there has been a move to extend the terms in the European 
Community but they have been stalled.  Several years ago the Gowers 
Commission did a report which showed that the current term of 50 years 
is too LONG already.  So certainly our collaborative term of 95 years is 
certainly too long, and even it's original 75 years was.  Sonny Bono had 
made statements that he was in favor of permanent copyrights, but Mary 
knew that wouldn't go over.  20 years seemed like a good compromise, but 
in no way was it mandated by any treaty considerations.  I might suggest 
that you can get more information and links on the ARSC Copyright 
Committee page put together by Time Brooks on the ARSC website.

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]