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Duke Law is running a very interesting article that lists a number of books and movies that would have become public domain this year, had our oh-so-theftful forefathers not passed the 1976 Copyright Act.

It's quite a list. Classic movies like The Seven Samurai and books like The Fellowship Of the Ring should have become public property, meaning that they could be freely remixed, downloaded, copied, whatever - but instead, thanks to this law, they will remain legally locked away until 2050, so the corporations that own these things can continue to profit from them for the forseeable future, despite the complete lack of scarcity.

Seriously, 2050! I will be 77 years old by then, and everyone else in my generation will surely be just as geriatric. We, and three generations after us, will have been forced - yes, forced - to grant a lifetime monopoly on books and movies made long before any of us had even been born. Is this fair?

Is it really fair for our parents generation - the same folks who raided the pensions of their parents, the folks who will be the primary benefactors of our savings into social security, money that most of our generation may never see any benefit from - get to lock away access to all of their creative works for nearly a century, while their parents' creations are now rightly in the public domain?

Why is it that everything connected with the baby boomer generation is always all about themselves getting as much as possible, but yet it's my generation, and the subsequent ones, that get labelled with this "entitlement" bullshit?

I think the reason that things like the Creative Commons, the GPL, and free culture in general have sprung up is because a lot of people have realized that the basic premise of "intellectual property" is flawed, and the only way we can really even have our own culture anymore is by making it free from the getgo.

And I'm sure if the boomers have any way to destroy that too - like, say, by trashing net neutrality, thereby forcing us to pay for the privilege of communicating with others based on whom it is we wish to communicate with - that they'll do everything in their power to accomplish it.

Fuck this, I'm going home.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2011 09:47 pm (UTC)
I won't live that long! :O
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )



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