samgower wrote:I'm in favour of 5+5.
The vast majority of works will fall under the radar within 5 years. These should subsequently be put in the public domain.
A few works, like the Harry Potter series for example, remain popular for longer. In this case, the author should be able to apply for an extension of copyright of another 5 years, and similarly until the author can no longer prove that their income relies on that work (i.e. most of their income comes from sources other than that work).
I think that last point, being able to renew copyright every 5 years until the author's income no longer relies on the work, is not currently party policy but may be a good compromise, not only between 5+5 and 10+5, but between us and authors too. It recognises that the popularity of works does not follow a set period, but may last a long time, and the author should benefit from this should they need to. Popular works are also, generally speaking, good. We should be rewarding authors not only for creating something, but creating something good, and I think this may be a solution to that.
cc wrote:On a similar line of reasoning, it might perhaps be appropriate for the government to "rent out" copyrights for a fee (say, on a yearly basis), which increases with every renewal. The rights holders will then need to decide for every renewal whether they stand to make a profit or loss. What do you think?
samgower wrote:Yes, I like this idea better. Perhaps we could go with Larry Lessig's copyright register idea. So everyone gets a free, standard length copyright of 5 (10?) years, and then every year afterwards the author must register his/her work for it to remain copyrighted, each year the cost of registering increasing. Essentially, it would be a sort of indirect tax: if you want to hold on to your copyright, good for you, but you're going to have to pay for the privilege.
How would we set the price of registering/whatever? I can't imagine having a fixed price, £100 one year, £200 the next and so on, as smaller authors/companies might struggle to pay but massive multinational monsters like EMI or Universal would pay it easily. Maybe the price would be set proportional to the income gained from the work?
jez9999 wrote:Even 10 years seems like an excessively long period of time. For a blanket guide, anyway. For every book you mention, I can raise you a Hollywood movie that made breathtaking profits in the first few *weeks* (Avatar...), and will no doubt make the vast bulk of its entire profit in the first 5 years.
samgower wrote:Anyone have an opinion on what cc and I were talking about above?
jez9999 wrote:My argument is quite simple. The vast majority of works that make any significant money do so in the first 5 years, and certainly in the first 10 years... even most of the less popular ones. The term should be as short as possible as to reasonably encourage new creations, but then to give it to the public domain ASAP. I'm not someone who thinks that this term is a value that can be determined scientifically or mathematically - it's just a subjective judgement. So for the large majority of works, I reckon 5-10 years is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to make money off of it, especially in the days of ultra-quick distribution, and much easier promotion, over the internet.
Some works would probably lose out somewhat with a 10 year maximum, and you may want to find some sort of exception for said works, but I'd be inclined to say, unfortunately, tough luck. You didn't manage to make money out of it in 10 years, an ample amount of time. You're not guaranteed a living through intellectual property, any more than I'm guaranteed a living through IT, even though I happen to be lucky enough to be employed in this sector right now.
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