[conspire] Copyrights

Luke S Crawford lsc at prgmr.com
Thu Mar 24 17:58:11 PDT 2011

kw6 at xmission.com writes:

> There are many out-of-print publications which are in the public
> domain (copyrights expire) should be preserved, but it needs to be
> done legally, protecting the rights of legitimate owners.  Anything
> for which the copyright has expired, thus is in the public domain,

The length of time before a copyright expires keeps expanding;  expanding
faster, in fact, than time is passing.  If this trend continues,
something created today may never fall out of copyright.

Another problem we have is abandoned works.   My book, for example,
10 years from now will be forgotten.  Not worth selling.  (hell, if I
don't come up with a second edition, it will be forgotten long before
that)    If someone wanted, to access or reprint more than 'fair use'
for whatever reason, and no-starch press was dead?  doing so would be 
difficult to impossible.   Who would bother to maintain the rights
to a book nobody cares about?

I mean, the vast majority of the abandoned works are abandoned because
they are not particularly useful anymore.   But it's still sad, 
I think, to see these works pass on to legal limbo.

Personally, I think it'd be reasonable to require you to register
every 10 years or whatever.   "I still want the exclusive right to
distribute this work"  -  you know, something relatively easy, but
something that verifies that someone is still there and still cares
enough about the work to fill out the paperwork and pay a small fee.   
This could also verify that there is a way to reach (and verify)
the current rights holder.   

Luke S. Crawford
http://prgmr.com/xen/         -   Hosting for the technically adept
http://nostarch.com/xen.htm   -   We don't assume you are stupid.  

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