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Old 2004-07-23, 16:30   Link #1
Spar-Q
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Philosophocal debate concerning copyrights

This is not intended to complain about how we should get free anime, because, although it would be nice, people deserve compensation for their product.

The reason I am bringing this up, is because I just thought about an episode of The Simpsons, where Homer was trying to become an inventor... In the end, after trying to destroy Isaac Newton's chair at the museum, and leaving his (rather horrid design, mind you) electric hammer, the heirs to Newton's estate got 'richer'...

My question is, should an individual or group of individuals continue to hold copyrights and make money from something done so long ago? Should everything become public domain after a period of time?
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Old 2004-07-23, 17:59   Link #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spar-Q
This is not intended to complain about how we should get free anime, because, although it would be nice, people deserve compensation for their product.

The reason I am bringing this up, is because I just thought about an episode of The Simpsons, where Homer was trying to become an inventor... In the end, after trying to destroy Isaac Newton's chair at the museum, and leaving his (rather horrid design, mind you) electric hammer, the heirs to Newton's estate got 'richer'...

My question is, should an individual or group of individuals continue to hold copyrights and make money from something done so long ago? Should everything become public domain after a period of time?
Not Newton... It's Thomas Edison.
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Old 2004-07-23, 18:08   Link #3
Lexander
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Who cares if you inheritted it. It is still listed as yours. You are now the owner.

And copywrights are a little different than owning some property.

Btw: it was Edison in the simpson's episode and it wasn't all that long ago that he lived...
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Old 2004-07-23, 19:12   Link #4
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Ok then, let me give a better example... some PC games are so old now, that the developpers(sp?) have essentially abandoned it.. aka abandon-ware... can't think of any examples for the moment, but the point is, some companies will refuse, no matter how you persuade them, to let hardcore fans who still like the game tweak with the source code to make it harder to cheat (such is the case in multiplayer games) or just better in some way.

I just feel that some companies are improperly hoarding something which should be made public.
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Old 2004-07-23, 21:20   Link #5
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America is a capitalist country, those are socialist ideas. unless America reverts to socialism after more than 200 years of capitalism, i doubt public property will apply to corperate copyrights.
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Old 2004-07-24, 10:58   Link #6
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I'm not aware of any law in the world under which copyrights don't expire after a period of time. Indeed, the notion that everything will eventually and unavoidably become part of the public domain is part of the fundamental philosophical underpinning of the notion of copyrights. The recent push to rewrite this notion (along with the likes of the DMCA, EUCD etc.) is a significant part in one of the great challenges we face in this century, the threat posed to democracy by corporatism. (A state that can very easily decend into fascism).
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Old 2004-07-24, 12:05   Link #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spar-Q
Ok then, let me give a better example... some PC games are so old now, that the developpers(sp?) have essentially abandoned it.. aka abandon-ware... can't think of any examples for the moment, but the point is, some companies will refuse, no matter how you persuade them, to let hardcore fans who still like the game tweak with the source code to make it harder to cheat (such is the case in multiplayer games) or just better in some way.

I just feel that some companies are improperly hoarding something which should be made public.
Some people feel that if they had invested time, energy, and money into something, they should retain control over it. Right or wrong and however others feel about it, in the end, it's their call.

They might also want to resurrect the project at a later date - in a new form, sequel, or such perhaps - and fear dilution or one taking sales away from the other.

There's also this for the U.S.:

Quote:
Copyright is a personal property right, and it is subject to the various state laws and regulations that govern the ownership, inheritance, or transfer of personal property as well as terms of contracts or conduct of business. For information about relevant state laws, consult an attorney.
Lawyers. Bah.
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Old 2004-07-24, 12:12   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spar-Q
Ok then, let me give a better example... some PC games are so old now, that the developpers(sp?) have essentially abandoned it.. aka abandon-ware... can't think of any examples for the moment, but the point is, some companies will refuse, no matter how you persuade them, to let hardcore fans who still like the game tweak with the source code to make it harder to cheat (such is the case in multiplayer games) or just better in some way.

I just feel that some companies are improperly hoarding something which should be made public.
im not fully sure what you mean there but people have remade DOOM and got away with it, you can now download DOOM 1 in full 3D
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Old 2004-07-24, 13:12   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbsy
im not fully sure what you mean there but people have remade DOOM and got away with it, you can now download DOOM 1 in full 3D
I think Doom is different, because ID software put it's older titles on the GPL, so users COULD tweak the code... this is one great thing about ID.. they give back to the programming community by showing their original code for old games. If I recall, Quake 1 and 2 is also on the GPL... meaning you can get either for free on the net legally.
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Old 2004-07-24, 13:21   Link #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoboGod
America is a capitalist country, those are socialist ideas. unless America reverts to socialism after more than 200 years of capitalism, i doubt public property will apply to corperate copyrights.
Isn't capatalism intended to stimulate the creation of a technology, or the economy? It makes people want to invent something so they get recognition and control over the invention or product... but after like 40 years, or after the death of the original creator, something should not be passed to their estate, just to guarantee that their family gets richer. The family should have no interest in the copyright.

Sure, your family should have the right to say "My uncle made this", even after you die, and prevent anybody from claiming otherwise, but they shouldn't retain the sole right to make money from it... everybody should be able to benefit from it.

I guess my argument really only applies to programming and computer technology.
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Old 2004-07-24, 13:55   Link #11
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Like Lambda said, copyrights expire after a certain amount of time If, lets say, after 10 years the inventor hasn't "improved" on his piece then he has lost his copyright priviliges. But I doubt the piece will be available to the public (copyrightless). It will probably be state owned or until someone buys it.
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Old 2004-07-24, 14:58   Link #12
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hm the shortest expiring time is for medical patents (think those will expire after 5 years).
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Old 2004-07-24, 21:06   Link #13
HoboGod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spar-Q
Isn't capatalism intended to stimulate the creation of a technology, or the economy? It makes people want to invent something so they get recognition and control over the invention or product... but after like 40 years, or after the death of the original creator, something should not be passed to their estate, just to guarantee that their family gets richer. The family should have no interest in the copyright.

Sure, your family should have the right to say "My uncle made this", even after you die, and prevent anybody from claiming otherwise, but they shouldn't retain the sole right to make money from it... everybody should be able to benefit from it.

I guess my argument really only applies to programming and computer technology.
not all people do something to ensure their own success, some do it for the success of their heirs. if capitalism is what drove them to get this copyright, then riches for their decendants is just as reasonable as riches for themselves.
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Old 2004-07-24, 23:51   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indicatoto101
Like Lambda said, copyrights expire after a certain amount of time If, lets say, after 10 years the inventor hasn't "improved" on his piece then he has lost his copyright priviliges. But I doubt the piece will be available to the public (copyrightless). It will probably be state owned or until someone buys it.
In the U.S., I would think that a software program, essentially defined to be a literary work, it's the shorter of either 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation since it was made for hire assuming it was made after 1 January 1978.

They enter the public domain afterwards.

For the implementation of software, the length of time is a bit high. Technology would have progressed beyond that long before then, but since you can't copyright an idea alone and must attach an actual piece of work, it's a reasonable solution, IMHO.
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Old 2004-07-25, 00:25   Link #15
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i remember hearing disneys mickey mouse was supposed to be public domain about now but disney being the big company they are wont allow it Poor steam boat willy Well anyhow alot of good things are already public domain like romeo and juliet , older books and other things we all enjoy I think true art will find its way to into peoples hands for those who want it somehow
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Old 2004-07-25, 00:55   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto Lin
hm the shortest expiring time is for medical patents (think those will expire after 5 years).
Medical Patents expire in 14 years.

It may seem that they last a lot shorter, but that's becuase they are often not marketed for a long time after the patent is taken out.

Anyway, I agree on the whole software thing. It's pretty lame that a piece of software sits around unused under copywrite. However, at the same time, engineering a system by which protection expires would be a mess. Not only that, but you'd have people killing each other off to make their patent/copyrights expire!
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