Financial Accounting Blog

Monday, October 06, 2003

Copyrights. The texbook is right--copyrights now last 70 years from the death of the creator. This old CNN article states that...
...a 1998 law...extended copyright protection an additional 20 years for cultural works, thereby protecting movies, plays, books and music for a total of 70 years after the author's death or for 95 years from publication for works created by or for corporations.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge to Congress' extension of copyright terms. However, in January the Court ruled 7-2 to uphold the extensions. The Court said that the decision from Congress was "rational" and also said "we are not at liberty to second-guess congressional determinations and policy judgments of this order."

After 50 years copyrighted items would have then belonged to all of us. But by extending the term 20 years Congress arguably has taken property from the public and has given it to corporations. Dan Gillmor thinks this decision stinks.
Swipe a CD from a record store and you'll get arrested. But when Congress authorizes the entertainment industry to steal from you -- well, that's the American way.