Reduce copyright terms to the minimum required by the Berne Convention


Stage: Active

Campaign: Legal & Policy Challenges

Copyrightable intellectual property is required by the Berne Convention to be for at least the life of the author plus 50 years. But US law provides much longer protection than that. Corporate "citizens" such as Disney continue lobbying for further increases, because they have a vested interest in making money from their properties as long as possible. So, copyrights have been extended many times over the years. The problem is that very little information gets into the public domain.

Life of the author plus 50 years is enough to take care of the author and his family, and that is really what copyright protection is all about. The corporations are not people and do not need such protection to be successful.

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  1. Comment

    Quoting the wikipedia article you reference to save others the trouble of following the link to see what the new duration is:

    The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States by 20 years. Since the Copyright Act of 1976, copyright would last for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 75 years for a work of corporate authorship. The Act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier.[1] Copyright protection for works published prior to January 1, 1978 was increased by 20 years to a total of 95 years from their publication date.