Saturday, January 21, 2012

Suggested Punishment for Those Who Pushed SOPA

Patent terms in the US are presently approximately 20 years.  Is there ANY good reason why copyrights ought to be longer than that term?  Is there any good reason why authors/screenwriters/etc should receive monopoly protection longer than engineers/biologists/pharmacists/etc?  Let's leave aside that both are usually intermediated through huge corporations and we'll also leave aside that the archetypal copyright beneficiary (the author) typically receives a higher fraction of the surplus created by their invention than does the equivalent for patents.

So here's what I propose.  Reduce, retroactively, all copyrights to the term of patents.  20 years, no more.  Prissy artists will just have to learn to live with people misusing their creations.  We engineers have had to deal with this for a LONG time.  Check out, for instance, the developer of the TV set.
Depicts the copyright term expansion over time.  I also encourage any readers to practice who...whom anytime they might happen to be on a civil or criminal jury relevant to the issue.

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