[conspire] Copyrights and patents

Paul Zander paulz at ieee.org
Sat Mar 26 10:36:17 PDT 2011

To the non-legally trained, copyrights and patents would appear to be similar.  So why is it that copyrights should last for several centuries while patents expire in less than 2 decades?

About the same time that Walt Disney created a mouse cartoon, Philo Farnsworth was issued patents for all-electric television.  However circumstances relating to the economy of the 1930's followed by WWII slowed his ability to develop a practical commercial version.  By the time he was ready, the patents had expired and the rewards went to RCA and others.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney has passed on, but the copyright for his mouse will remain in effect for a long long time to come.

Guess Philo needed a better lobby.

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