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I deserve credit for my creative effort.

You deserve credit and to be paid for your creative work as needed.

Copyright for the (too often corporate) heirs of a creator is a horrible concept.

Copyright reform needs to revert and not extend control.

@Algot So, if I write a book that gets published, and I die, my wife shouldn't get royalties from my book?


It's currently70 years past the death of the creator. How many wives are 70 years younger than their husbands?

@Algot Oh, sorry! I misunderstood what you were saying. I totally agree that 70 years is long enough.


Do the majority of works have published editions 35 years after the creator's death, much less 70?

Backlists are typically unavailable in any format.

@Algot @BobTarte That's true for the traditional publishing model of big runs on release that are rarely repeated, but with Print on Demand and ebooks becoming an ever larger part of how books are published I could envisage a significant minority of backlists becoming available for a very long time.

@DaveHiggins @BobTarte

Consider one example, a very popular novelist like Frank Yerby. I am unaware of any of his books legally available in ebook format.

@DaveHiggins @BobTarte

Publishers probably still own the rights, and they have very limited incentive to publish older books by midlist authors.

@Algot @BobTarte Traditional big publishers maybe: in my experience smaller publishers (especially author-publishers) make having ebooks in print perpetually a plank of their strategy.

@DaveHiggins @BobTarte

That leaves us with a problem because "traditional" publishers hold the contracts on thousands of authors.

Who acts for the public?

@Algot @DaveHiggins @BobTarte

> Who acts for the public?

One would think the government would under a democratic republic, but we don't have one of those. We have an oligarchy because we failed to keep our republic.

@Algot @BobTarte Wasn't suggesting we shouldn't have copyright limits; just that more books will continue to be in print for extended periods.

Perhaps that's a partial solution: have copyright extinguished if a book has been out of print for a certain time. That way it's either available from the right's holder or it's legal for anyone to make it available.

@DaveHiggins @Algot @BobTarte

So, you're suggesting the "use it or lose it" model currently in force in the US for trademarks? Seems reasonable to me.

@starbreaker @Algot @BobTarte Not sure of the exact rules of US IP; however, at a large granularity yes.

Perhaps it would also need a SME caveat/extension of some sort to prevent rights holders who were too poor to reasonably keep a print book in print weren't penalised.

@DaveHiggins @starbreaker @BobTarte

I would expect no print versions would be needed. DRM issues aside, making an ePUB version available on line would be enough to satisfy the "use it" clause, as I see it. Utilities like Pandoc and Calibre handle conversions to other formats effectively for anyone technically comfortable. I would bet some forward-thinking publisher could offer even the poorest rights owners the service of hosting the files with search facility.

Sales/royalties management?

@Algot @starbreaker @BobTarte Making EPUB (or PDF for something where layout matters such as poetry) would definitely work. So that does make it easier.

However, that all presupposes internet access: both for any meaningful access to Calibre and for making the output available, or for accessing an enterprising publisher. So, I'd still want to see some protection for small creators against losing rights because they didn't have internet access.

@BobTarte @Algot Nope. Neither should mine.

Copyright is supposed to serve a public good. According the US Constitution, Congress shall have power "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

If you draw upon our culture to create a work, it's only fair that your work eventually entire the public domain and further enrich our culture.

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