July 16, 2012
Petitioning the Obama Administration to Support the Restoration of Copyrights to their Original Duration of 28 Years
From the online We Petition:
Our Founding Fathers established an initial copyright duration of 28-years, but that has been repeatedly extended to up to 120 years to favor corporations like Disney and Sony and authors’ descendants at the expense of the public. Such durations ignore the Constitution’s requirement that copyrights be for limited times and promote progress in science and the useful arts. They actually inhibit scientific progress by restricting the free flow of information, preventing global digital libraries, and withholding information that future generations need to freely exchange and build upon. The original copyright duration provides ample incentive for companies and authors to create, so we ask the President to urge Congress to pass a bill restoring copyrights to their original duration of 28 years.
The deadline for the required 25,000 signatures is August 8, 2012. Sounds like a very good idea to me. I do wonder, however, if I can sign the petition without a disclaimer that my support for it has nothing to do with being an AALL member and whether only AALL can represent my interests as a US citizen who happens to be buyer of copyrighted works by petitioning the federal government because of the financial and competitive impact reducing copyright to a mere 28 years would have on the commercial legal publishing cartel. So while I think this petition is a very good idea, it certainly is not a call for other like-minded AALL members to support it.
For more on if not global at least national digital libraries, see Pamela Samuelson's Reforming Copyright Is Possible: And it's the only way to create a national digital library (The Chronicle Review, July 9, 2012) and Legislative Alternatives to the Google Book Settlement (April 2011) [SSRN]. [JH]
This is a good idea. My only concern is that changing the duration of copyright back to 28 years would run afoul of the Berne Convention. Would that mean the US would no longer be part of the Convention?
Posted by: Randy Holbrook | Jul 17, 2012 12:22:53 PM
Do you know who created this petition?
Posted by: Diane Gurman | Jul 16, 2012 11:22:38 AM