Public Domain Doomed (Mouse != World)

Elias Sinderson
Wed, 15 Jan 2003 23:40:57 -0800

This is the real crux of the IP situation, that corporations don't die. 
(And also have enormous resources compared to you or I...) Their 
interests will last as long as they're solvent, sometimes a little 
longer... Point being that they will continue to have a great deal of 
interest in owning IP, whether by copyright, patent, or trademark. As 
has been pointed out before, the interaction of these factors has 
resulted in a series of extensions to the allowable term of IP control. 
I believe that the current situation is a little out of hand and it 
would probably be a good thing for everyone to start thinking about 
reasonable limits for these sorts of laws... The creative commons effort 
has a lot of potential, provided it lasts and people really start giving 
a damn.

I've got some half-baked ideas on fixing the IP situation, some of them 
may be slightly incompatible as I haven't thought them through all the 
way... At the very least they would be cooly recieved by any true 
capitalist. At any rate, one question I'm having difficulty with is why 
there aren't separate systems for corporate IP and personal IP? That is, 
I understand why corporations want/like the current set up, and even why 
it is that way to an extent, but does anyone really think this situation 
makes sense? (Yes I know some people really do think it makes sense... 
poor bastards.  :-) The real question is whether we should treat 
corporations as if they 'deserve' the same rights as people. It 
glaringly obvious that they (corporations) have a conspicuous lack of 
moral character in general, to say nothing of some of their board 
members, officers, etc...

Elias wrote:

>[...] Erikur Hallgrimson <> asks
>EH> 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?   
>It won't apply, unless artists and the public writ large get the clue.
> The reason intellectual property brings a bad taste in the mouth is
> not that it exists.  IP in and of itself is a good thing.  Patents
> are good. Trademarks are good, and copyright is good.  Its that its
> no longer a single-user system.  Its owned by corporations and
> conglomerates, who buy up the rights of authors and creators.
> Corporations don't die, and IP certainly can be carried on, or passed
> down.  Corporations, like DisneyCo have time, money and lobbists.
> Their actions therefore directly affect the system, and we lose.  The
> creative control ceases to return to the commons that it sprung from,
> and instaed lives on in some vault for the rest of the life of
> Disney.
> Point being:  You should care.