Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 12th Mar 2010 23:18 UTC
In the News And thus, our true colours reveal. Since Obama was the young newcomer, technically savvy, many of us were hoping that he might support patent and/or copyright reform. In case our story earlier on this subject didn't already tip you off, this certainly will: Obama has sided squarely with the RIAA/MPAA lobby, and backs ACTA. No copyright and/or patent reform for you, American citizens!
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jwwf
Member since:
2006-01-19


Anyway, rather than turning this into yet another lame political blog, maybe the comments should get back to the original issue. What "reforms" to copyright and patent law are you guys seeking?


One simple reform would be fine, repeal post-1790 copyright term extensions in the US: go back to 14 years, plus a 14 year non-automatic renewal. This compares reasonably with the patent term.

Apply it retroactively, since the US Government often can't tell you with certainty whether something published in the 20th century is still covered or not. You can pay them $75 an hour or so to do a search, but it's not guaranteed to be correct. This problem can be easily solved by zeroing the affected records.

Do that, and I'd say no other action needed. Other countries should do whatever they want.

Reply Parent Score: 3

sakeniwefu Member since:
2008-02-26

Patent terms shouldn't be shortened. They just should stop awarding patents for trivial or existing "inventions", and ambiguous patents that embrace technology the original "inventors" couldn't even dream of, and that is most of them, especially in the case of software patents. I have nothing against a company that invents a compression algorithm that gets all the data we care about down to 1% of its original size on average and gets a royalty for each sold copy during 20 years.

Copyright on the other hand is far too long. Once the original author is dead, there can't be any new book. Once the author sells his copyright to a company, he can starve to death for all Obama and the lobbies care, copyright will not encourage anything other than corporate greed. More money doesn't even encourage output like in patents.

A fixed and relatively short term, transferable, but renewable indefinitely only by the original author for a fee like (15+5*) is the best solution to have authors that 1- get paid, 2- create more and 3- don't get killed by the media companies(much more likely to hire a hitman than slashdotters). The author should never lose his authorship moral rights even after his copyright is left to expire and for a fixed time after death(eg. No Harry Potter and the Plumber Union derivative movie clause). People inheriting the author's state should have no say in either, they get the money and shut up.

In both cases, failure to enforce a monopoly should be grounds for exemption.

If you don't market your technology instead hoping to become a patent troll(or doing your best eg. publishing a paper while you secretly have a patent), all uses up to the time of surfacing should be unpunished and allowed to continue. Anything *you* release on the technology should mention the patent.

In the case of copyright, there should be an abandonware clause. Many companies will refuse to sell you old software, or out of print books, but will happily sue you for infringement. That doesn't encourage anything at all, not even greed. It is just hate.

Reply Parent Score: 3