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Re: [ARSCLIST] Mercury co-founder Irving Green passes
On 09/07/06, Tom Fine wrote:
> Good luck selling that idea to for-profit companies who OWN the
> recordings by all laws of (almost) all lands, and paid money out of
> pocket to make them. Perhaps a good idealistic idea, but not practical
> in a capitalist world. And, given the history of alternative worlds,
> I'll take the capitalist one, warts and all.
Why would they refuse a grant?
EMI released a number of recordings sponosored by the British Council,
> This does bring up an interesting thing I've noticed on this list.
> Collectors seem to have vague or "different" ideas of ownership. Just
> because one WANTS something to be available does not mean that's OK
> with those who own it. It may not be OK for logical reasons (ie no
> market except a handful of vocal collectors -- but this problem may
> disappear with online distribution, for instance the number of obscure
> songs available at iTunes) or for illogical reasons (giant
> megaglomerate doesn't understand its own vaults or has misplaced
> masters, etc). But, point is, in an ownership society (which had
> definitely proven superior over time), the owner of something has the
> final call. Whether the desirer/potential customer likes it or not.
> Now, what I would like to see is a more reasonable copyright system.
> One idea I've had is, perhaps 35-40 years exclusive copyright on
> something with perhaps up to 15 years renewal if it remains in print
> throughout the whole period. If, during the copyright period,
> something is out of print 5 years or more, another party may pay a
> royalty and have access to a reasonable facsimile of the master for
> reissue. I'd even support up-front reissue-rights payment with a
> smaller royalty paid on each item sold, which would protect copyright
> owners from fly-by-nights and people with big ideas but small wallets
> and little common sense. Under this system, it would be in the
> copyright owner's interest to provide a good quality version to the
> 3rd party so as to maintain the value of their product even if they
> themselves don't have it in print for one reason or another. Under
> this system, no matter what, after that 15 year extension -- max --
> the content goes into PD. Big copyright owners will say that doesn't
> give them enough time to amortize risks, but I say they take few risks
> these days anyway. This would apply to music, books, movies and other
> copyright items (including software and games). Now I'll duck as the
> tomatos fly!
On the whole, that makes sense, but we should distinguish between the
companies and the composers, authors and artists.