Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Current copyright regime makes entertainment industry boring; The Daily Texan, June 18, 2017

Usmaan Hasan, The Daily Texan; Current copyright regime makes entertainment industry boring

"The current system of copyright and intellectual property protections quells artistic expression gives consumers the short end of the stick.
Mickey Mouse, as a property of Disney, enjoys bipartisan support in Congress. He was created in 1928, and under the existing copyright regime of the time, Disney’s right to Mickey should have ended in 1956 at the soonest, 1984 at the latest. Yet with some Disney magic, without fail, Congress expands copyright protections every time the Mickey is about to lapse into the public domain.
The hypocrisy coming from Disney is staggering. It has gained its immense wealth by monetizing properties in the public domain – like Cinderella, a centuries old fairy tale owned by no one – lobbying for copyright protections for those properties, and then reworking properties while constantly expanding the lifetime of their protections. It is a company that has managed to exercise artistic reinterpretation of cultural touchstones while making it nearly impossible for others to do the same. In fact, Disney has made its wealth by making movies on at least 50 works in the public domain."

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