Online Petition For Restoring US’s Copyright Term Back to 28 Years
According to the American copyright law, the term for one’s right over his/hers work is indefinite as long as that person is alive. An online petition is hoping to change that.
The petition is available on White House’s official website, and aims to gather 25.000 signatures to restore the term of copyright back to 28 years. In just 24 hours the petition gathered more than 2.000 signatures.
Here’s what it says:
Our Founding Fathers established an initial copyright duration of 28-years, but that has been repeatedly extended to up to 120 years to favor corporations like Disney and Sony and authors’ descendants at the expense of the public. Such durations ignore the Constitution’s requirement that copyrights be for limited times and promote progress in science and the useful arts. They actually inhibit scientific progress by restricting the free flow of information, preventing global digital libraries, and withholding information that future generations need to freely exchange and build upon. The original copyright duration provides ample incentive for companies and authors to create, so we ask the President to urge Congress to pass a bill restoring copyrights to their original duration of 28 years.
Lawrence Lessing – born June 3, 1961 – is an American academic and political activist who wrote a book on this issue, giving a comprehensive analysis on how creativity relies on the past. In other words, creations of the past can be used as “bricks” for future projects, and he was not the only one to believe that. Past’s influence in the artistic sector is undeniable, and here’s a fragment that best explains this fact:
This is the second childhood of poetry. To the comprehensive energy of the Homeric Muse, which, by giving at once the grand outline of things, presented to the mind a vivid picture in one or two verses, inimitable alike in simplicity and magnificence, is substituted a verbose and minutely-detailed description of thoughts, passions, actions, persons, and things, in that loose rambling style of verse, which any one may write, stans pede in uno, at the rate of two hundred lines in an hour. To this age may be referred all the poets who flourished in the decline of the Roman Empire.
This was written in Peacock’s essay – The Four Ages of Poetry – sometime in the 18th century, referring to the Iron Age, Golden Age, Silver Age and finally the Brass Age.
However, the US copyright law is not at all encouraging creativity, but rather considers everything as being original.
“I think it’s time copyright laws actually reflected the era of today. The only entities such long copyright terms (in the US, it’s life plus 70 years) are, more often then not, large multi-national corporations. It doesn’t benefit society when copyright terms are so long. It merely chokes off what little creativity is left in this world,” writes Drew Wilson of the ZeroPaid .
If you agree with thousands of other US citizens you can sign the petition by following this link.