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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  April 2006, Week 1

ARCHIVES April 2006, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Intellectual Property Run Amok-end of the public domain?

From:

Arel Lucas <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Arel Lucas <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 3 Apr 2006 17:40:55 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (111 lines)

It might be a thought to look at the British system here, although
that may be thought too harsh; I know almost nothing about it. 
Intellectual property is, I believe, taxed like physical property when
passed on to progeny.  (Agatha Christie, for instance, gave all her
work away to relatives as, say, birthday presents before she died in
order to avoid their having to pay inheritance tax.)  People work to
build up possessions for their children, and I feel that this should
be possible whether in intellectual or physical property, but that the
number of years of possible profit should be limited, and that there
should be a careful look taken at intellectual property heritage or
sales to institutions--especially corporations.

Sonny Bono, by the way, was a scientologist who reportedly introduced
and pushed his copyright legislation on behalf of that multifaceted
organization (150 global corporations).  Scientology is very
interested in protecting unpublished material they claim as
copyrighted by their founder, L. Ron Hubbard (albeit with a very
cloudy succession to the Religious Technology Center or RTC; see
http://www.factnet.org/Scientology/sigfraud.htm, by a former member
involved in recently settled, 25-year-old litigation with them). 
Their litigation on behalf of these alleged copyrights has often been
used to silence critics of their organization and policies.  In any
sort of reasonable copyright system this sort of thing should not be
possible:  it should not be possible to use alleged copyright of
unpublished materials allegedly containing evidence of wrongdoing to
silence those who question corporate policies on behalf of public
interest.  This is indeed copywrong.

Copyright as it stands has become so confusing that especially
unpublished work cannot be accessed as it should be following the
author's death, because without clear permissions archives are afraid
to Web their collections.  On the other hand, due to lack of
completely international standards regarding copyright, our children's
backs are becoming bowed:  publishers are afraid to allow textbook
publication on the Web (even encrypted and passworded? chapter by
chapter?) for the use of students because they're afraid their content
will be stolen by offshore bookleggers.  So our children, starting
with middle school, are carrying 50-70 lbs of clay-filled books on
their shoulders (or carting them around like lawyers or pilots)
because they need them for home and classroom use without being able
to print them out, say, a chapter at a time from the school site. 
Some of them are deprived of textbooks altogether by publication and
distribution problems.

So we get it from both ends--publishers (or unpublishers) guarding
their works fiercely *and* being afraid to publish for fear of theft. 
In both cases the public is being deprived of work it should be able
to access.

Arel Lucas
"Have Gloves Will Travel"
---------------------------------
On 4/1/06, [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I have been dealing with a number of copyright issues on the
> photograph-related side of things and concur with some of the concerns
> voiced in this thread.  It seems that copyright, etc., which does have a
> legitimate purpose, has been taken to such draconian extremes that it has
> the real risk to stifling creativity and expression.  A lot of this, of
> course, comes from the entertainment industry and their sympathethic
> lawyers and politicians (thanks for nothing,  Sonny Bono).
>
> I was talking with  a colleague about this last night and she and I both
> worry that the public domain itself is a threatened species that could,
> save for things created by the federal government, become extinct in our
> lifetimes and that everything would be owned and nothing would be free to
> use. Is anybody else worried about these things or doing something about
> it?
>
> More and more, I think a compromise solution would be that copyright goes
> with the creator of the object and when that creator dies or the creating
> institution folds, the rights go into public immediately, end of
> discussion.  Family does NOT get rights  (in part because how do you
> determine who among, say, six kids or 3 siblings who says yes to it?).   If
> one wanted to, say, run the family photo studio after the founder died,
> then, sure the rights conitnue.  Otherwise no, unless, perhaps there is a
> very specific request in the creator's will.  After all, just because my
> father practiced veterinary medicine does not mean I get the right to
> conduct follow-up checkups on the animals he treated.
>
> Thoughts?
>
> Jay Price
> Department of History
> Wichita State University
>
> A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
> For the terms of participation, please refer to http://www.archivists.org/listservs/arch_listserv_terms.asp.
>
> To subscribe or unsubscribe, send e-mail to [log in to unmask]
>      In body of message:  SUB ARCHIVES firstname lastname
>                    *or*:  UNSUB ARCHIVES
> To post a message, send e-mail to [log in to unmask]
>
> Or to do *anything* (and enjoy doing it!), use the web interface at
>     http://listserv.muohio.edu/archives/archives.html
>
> Problems?  Send e-mail to Robert F Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>
>

A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
For the terms of participation, please refer to http://www.archivists.org/listservs/arch_listserv_terms.asp.

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Problems?  Send e-mail to Robert F Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>

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