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Old November 30th, 2006, 04:10 PM   #1
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copyright/duration international perspective

After that previous (now closed) discussion I decided to look up international copyright law and how it addresses duration.


In Canada when one creates a work the copyright is automatic. You dont have to register(it can help legally but its not necessary).

Plus there is a distinction between exclusive rights and moral rights(the former can be transferred, the latter cannot, only waived).

On duration:

According to section 6 of the Act the copyright of a work lasts the life of the author plus 50 years from the end of the calendar year of death. If the author is anonymous or pseudonymous then the copyright lasts for either 50 years from the publication of the work or 75 years from the making of the work, whichever is shorter.

I can see how the controversy stems from one's definition of the term intellectual property and how literally you take it to be, and whether you feel restrictions on the human mind are possible.

It seems that the framers of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (which included the influence of Victor Hugo) understood the importance of public domain works in the creation of new ones, but also did not regard the concept of intellectual property as literally being the same as a physical piece of land or a business-or even considered the rights of heirs-which was a point I was trying to make.

From what i read the debate over intellectual property and intellectual protectionism seems to veer off into areas of digital technology--which to me is different from duration issues, and much more complicated. I have no comments on that subject. Clearly the existence of new media(film, tv, internet and merchandise) as well as the personhood of corporations fuels the rethink on the duration issue, as new revenue channels open.


As an enthusiast of Ancient Greek/Roman Literature and Mythology , as a matter of public record I can testify that western civilization's literary history was not hurt at all by the state of copyright protection(or lack thereof) in those times. Fortunately for all of us who enjoy it.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 04:20 PM   #2
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I beg to differ on the lack of protection of copyright not hurting anyone in classical times.

That is an assertion. There is no way to prove it.

We have great works, whose original authors are lost to us, and we have no way of knowing if their work was attibuted for and compensated for adequately at the time.

Consider the reason FOR copyright existence. If there were no need to protect the rights to authorship, it would not exist. Locks keep honest people honest...

Property 'rights' have always included the intangeable property throughout history. One may 'own' the land, but one cannot literally pick it up and move it somewhere. And yet title to land is considered real and tangible property. What you are transferring when you transfer the title to property, is simply the right to USE or EXPLOIT such property.

The confusion is often sited in the Native American quote which asks how anyone can "Own" the land? And yet all peoples (including Native Americans) have fought and died for 'intageable' rights to exploit the land and water, indeed even the air above and the minerals below.

It's not so hard to understand where 'owning' intellectual property has a long and prominent history. The law ALSO recognizes that IDEAS CANNOT be copyrighted... only the fixed expression of such ideas. One cannot OWN the concept of star-crossed lovers... but one might own the script for WEST SIDE STORY.

Copyrights DO expire, what seems to be the sticking point, is how long they should last.
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Old December 1st, 2006, 10:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Goden
I can see how the controversy stems from one's definition of the term intellectual property and how literally you take it to be...
One's own definition of the term does not really matter. Define it for yourself any way you wish. What really matters is how the term is defined by law. Fortunately for content creators, intellectual property is defined by law as real property. That's what counts, and that's how we'll continue to regard it here.

Quote:
... and whether you feel restrictions on the human mind are possible.
Immaterial. Restrictions on the human mind are possible only as far as a particular mind will voluntarily allow itself to be restricted. Copyright law imposes restrictions on human actions, not human minds. By imposing severe penalties for the action of intellectual property theft, copyright law fosters creativity.
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