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The Downward Spiral

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TANSTAAFL

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So, I was reading this thread. (I'm taking a quick break from CHIP8.)

I enjoy, to a degree, the train wreck that is any conversation about "free" v. "non-free" software.

Not so terribly long ago, I was a squarely in the "non-free" camp. But because of Mickey Mouse, I changed my mind.

I wouldn't call myself squarely in the "free" camp, though. I'd say I am a proponent of "copyright reform".

Copyrights and patents are a reward. You did some work, you get the copyright or you file for the patent, and the law "protects" you from the equivalent of other people cheating off of your test paper. Really what happens is patent attourneys make money off of you when you sue infringers, but that's another story.

Currently, the copyright law is "life of the author, plus 70 years".

Plus 70 years?!?

So, if you write the greatest, most best-sellingest book ever, your children and grandchildren don't have to work? They can just ride your copyright until it expires?

I don't think so. Nothing against your kids and grandkids, but I don't think YOU want them to be moochers, either. Let them write their own most best-sellingest book ever.

Like it or not, your copyrighted work is not solely for YOUR benefit. It is for the benefit of all mankind (some works benefit more, some less). The copyright is the incentive that the government gives you to create the work.

So, I don't believe there should be any amount of time beyond the life of the author. And in fact, I believe that during that time, every ten years you have to fill out a renewal form, with a fee that gets bigger each time. And get that paper filed by the deadline, otherwise your work is public domain. No, I don't care that you were busy.

That's all. Back to my normal inane ramblings about unimportant matters...




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Just to put things in perspective, life + 70 years was to keep things in line with the business extention. Now if businesses should be allowed to have copyrights in the first place is debatable...

However, your entry impies that you believe copyright should be for the life of the author. Do you think you should have exclusive rights to your computer books for as long as you live?

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I *DON'T* have the rights to my books. Course Technology does. After a particular amount of time (when Course stops making money, and hasn't made any money for a while), then and only then do the rights revert to me.

At which point the copyright is effectively worthless, and I would release it to the public domain or release it under the Free Documentation License (more likely the latter).

I just sent off an e-mail to my AE, asking what the conditions are for getting the rights back.

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