Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How to renege

I could not disagree more with the title of this BBC article:

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music stars 'must keep copyright'

In essence, the cited artists want to renege on a deal they made. The deal is that they would received a monopoly on the copying of their work, but for a limited time, i.e. a copyright. This has proved to be very lucrative indeed for the two people mentioned in the article, Sir Cliff Richard and Sir Paul McCartney.

The other side of the deal is that the protected work enters the public domain when the monopoly (the copyright) expires.

So, having made heaps of money from the deal we see that Sir Paul and Sir Cliff want to change the deal. They want to renege on the agreement. They want more time, and the public can just wait while they pocket even more money.

The article suggests that there is no reason *not* to extend the copyright term, but of course there is a very good reason not to - the public will be denied free access to these works after having fulfilled their side of the deal.

Far from supporting creativity the current long copyright terms cause stagnation. When did Sir Cliff last produce a really creative work? Right.

No comments: