Public Domain Doomed (Mouse != World)

Eirikur Hallgrimsson eh@mad.scientist.com
Wed, 15 Jan 2003 15:35:28 -0500


So, is the mouse a copyright, trademark, or service mark issue?   Maybe all 
three.

I'm as much against copyright law as any anarchist, but I find myself 
flinching at all the knee-jerk copyright phobia here.

In actuality having a copyright or trademark that has value means that an 
entity has done considerable work to promote it and defend it.   There are 
many dead trademarks littering the landscape to prove this.

I guess I'm trying to say that I don't particularly mind DisneyCorp trying 
to protect the mouse.   Having that put all writings out of the reach of 
Project Gutenberg for generations is another thing.  Even under the old 
system "Author's Lifetime" meant that anything technical or scientific was 
certainly useless for work in the field--historically valuable, but not 
useful for advancing the art.

According to me, Disney can have their big guns defending the mouse. (I 
could care less about the mouse.)

How do we recapture the "public good" of intellectual work that was, after 
all, built "on the shoulders of giants" before it is totally obsolete?   
This would have to come down to a system that amortizes the value/control 
of intellectual property to the creator....I think...   I dunno how this 
applies to the arts.  Perhaps it should not.

Eirikur