Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Public Domain Enhancement Act

This sounds like a good idea to me.  I signed.

From Larry

We have launched a petition to
build support for the Public Domain
Enhancement Act
. That act would require American copyright holders to pay $1 fifty
years after a work was published. If they pay the $1, the copyright continues. If
they don't, the work passes into the public domain. Historical estimates would suggest
98% of works would pass into the pubilc domain after 50 years. The Act would do a
great deal to reclaim a public domain.

This proposal has received a great deal of support.
It is now facing some important lobbyists' opposition. We need a public way to begin
to demonstrate who the lobbyists don't speak for. This is the first step.

If you are an ally in at least this cause, please
sign the petition. Please blog it, please email it, please spam it, please buy billboards
about it -- please do whatever you can. And most importantly, please help us explain
its importance. There is a chance to do something significant here. But it will take
a clearer, simpler voice than mine.

Now go and sign that petition.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful
committed people can change the world: indeed it's the only thing that ever has.

-- Margaret Meade



  1. This is useless. What does it accomplish? NOTHING.

    If you want to send a message, write your congressperson. I f you want to leave icopyrights as they were, this accompliishes nothing. If you wish to do something "significant" than please.... do it right. Jeez, so now some screwup can spend $100 and tie up 10o0 domains for a half century. Great.

    Think this through please. This does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

  2. Hmm. I'm not sure I understand your comment. Do you think that anyone can buy copyrighted material for $1? No - it's only the original copyright holder. So I couldn't - for example - wait 50 years and then snarf the copyright to Stephen King's books after he's dead. Only his heirs could do that.

    If I understand this petition correctly, what it does is push the 80% or so of content that no one cares about the copyright any more into the public domain, while still giving copyright holders a really easy way to hold on to their intellectual property.

    Am I missing something?