Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rights, Public Domain and Inheritance

Right now the copyright law is fairly complicated (to me!) full of numbers.  I'm just going to ask a couple questions.

How long should the copyright be on a book?  Should it end when the creator dies?  Should there be some years, a decade or so, after the creator dies, and then it reverts into public domain?  Does this depend on whether the work is in print or not?

Does the work of Melisande Scott belong to her?  Are the rights hers to pass on to her heirs and descendants?  Or should the government be able to decide when to appropriate private property and make it available to the public?  Sort of socialized book publishing?  Is it the public's right to have whatever book they want or should the person who created the intellectual property be able to keep it in the family?  Does the family have a right to decide what to do with their personal property/gift from their ancestor?  If they choose not to do anything with it, should it be taken from them?

Again, I've asked questions in a way that you  can understand my position.  Do you want your property confiscated?  Would you like that now?  Would you like it more or less if you were dead and your treasure that had been willed to your family was confiscated "for the greater good"?  If it was not your intellectual property but a lovely piece of jewelry, does that make a difference?   Are you qualified to make these decisions or is the government better at living your life than you are?

Just asking.

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