Alternate Copyright Plan

If you liked Lessig’s much-linked NYTimes editorial Protecting Mickey Mouse at Art’s Expense from a couple of weeks ago, or perhaps just noticed today’s Foxtrot, you might want to check out Lessig’s FAQ on the proposed Eric Eldred Act, which suggests requiring a tax be paid by copyright holders who wish to extend their copyright beyond some term (say, 50 years), thus allowing Disney to pay to keep Steamboat Willie out of the public domain (which they presumably believe still has monetary value) while allowing other less profitable works to become available on a reasonable schedule. The FAQ also fills in some of the details of what rules any copyright compromise needs to fit, such as the requirements of the Berne Treaty.

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