Re: copyright -- way past vs right now

Lief M. Hendrickson (hendrick@NOSC.MIL)
Mon, 6 Feb 1995 18:18:50 PST

On Feb 6, Janette Wilson wrote:

> I think there are time limits on copyrights and copyright protection, yes?
>But, Cliff Sloan brought up something that I think is the more important issue
> and that is contemporary appropriation of knowledge without recompense.

Yes, the time limit on a copyright is the author's life plus 50

As an aside, copyright protection is for original works of
authorship when they become fixed in a tangible form or
expression. Note the protection does not extend to the content-
only to its specific form. For example, a person could write
something and have a copyright on what was written. It's legal
for someone else to express the same ideas but in a different
manner such as a different style of writing.

Knowledge can not be copyrighted.

Patents may be another analogy to the "appropriation" issue. In
the case of an invention, the duration of its patent is 17 years.

The analogies do differ from the previous discussion. However,
the point is there are no eternal monopolies on anything.