[Coco] Re: Patents and Copyrights...

Lothan lothan at newsguy.com
Tue Jul 19 02:38:41 EDT 2005

Yes, but that's the American Way[tm]. If it can be touched, felt, smelt, or
tasted, the general philosophy is that it will be outdated within 15 to 20
years. In other words, today's gimmick is next generation's trash. This is
generally true, but I'm sure we can all envision specific products that have
been "hampered" by such a short term. The pharmaceutical industry, for
example, typically models research, marketing, and pricing on the 17-year
patent law and are somewhat forced by this model to continue developing new
drugs within the 17-year time span to stay on top. In this specific market,
innovators get rich while the not-so-innovative fade into the sunset.

It may seem odd to consider that thought and ideas are protected in
seemingly perpetuity, but I generally agree with the notion with some major
caveats: 1) We have the freedom to release our knowledge and ideas to the
free market (e.g. GPL, LGPL, and others); 2) we have the right to protect
our copyright within ethical and legal boundaries; 3) copyright holders are
not allowed to hold the public hostage through egregious digital rights
management policies that severely restrict our rights; and 4) copyright is
considered null and void upon the copyright holder's unwillingness to
release previously published information.

You might immediately argue that point 2 is in direct conflict with the
other three points, and it may seem to be. Where I draw the line is with
information that has been released to the public (either for free or for
profit). In other words, I have the right to claim copyright on anything I
write but I also have the right to never release the information to the
public. If I do release the information to the public, another law should
kick that stipulates if the publisher of said information cannot or will not
continue future publication, said information reverts to the public domain
because the publisher has, in effect, relinquished all rights. This
effectively means "legacy" software, magazines, journals, books,
newsletters, audio, and video are under the gun to sell it or lose it.

Where it gets sticky in my opinion is in archival rights. The music industry
has a common model in which audio is sold in a mass market. When sales begin
to falter, compilations are bundled and sold. When sales of the compilations
begin to falter, the "best hits" of various artists are bundled, rebundled,
unbundled, and bundled again into a compilation over the next 50 years. When
sales of the rebundles falter, they sell limited rights to advertising
agencies, fly-by-night music compilers, and so on. If you think about it,
you'll begin to envision similarities to that Mickey Mouse outfit that has
been selling and reselling the same videos for the past 50 years.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: coco-bounces at maltedmedia.com [mailto:coco-bounces at maltedmedia.com]
> On Behalf Of farna at att.net
> Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2005 6:53 PM
> To: coco at maltedmedia.com
> Subject: [Coco] Re: Patents and Copyrights...
> Isn't it strange that you can invent the greatest thing since sliced bread
> but only profit from it for 17 years, but if you write/draw/publish
> something not only you but your heirs get to profit from it (or keep it
> buried away) for way to long???
> (and I didn't forget to cut all the extra out this time!!)
> --
> Frank Swygert
> Publisher, "American Independent
> Magazine" (AIM)
> For all AMC enthusiasts
> http://farna.home.att.net/AIM.html
> (free download available!)
>  -------------- Original message ----------------------
> > Message: 2
> > Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 12:53:35 -0400
> > From: Rod Barnhart <rod.barnhart at gmail.com>
> > Subject: Re: [Coco] [Color Computer] DjVu misconceptions
> > To: ColorComputer at yahoogroups.com,	CoCoList for Color Computer
> > 	Enthusiasts <coco at maltedmedia.com>
> > Message-ID: <6cd9b02e05071409535b624576 at mail.gmail.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> >
> > ISTR that the whole gif fiasco didn't occur until the patents were
> > nearing expiration. Not saying that's gonna happen in this case, but
> > there is always that risk when using patent-encumbered formats.
> >
> > Rod
> >
> > On 7/14/05, James Diffendaffer <jdiffendaffer at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > > at all.  The patents will start to expire within the next couple
> > > years.  There may be additional patents but they will be related to
> >
> --
> Coco mailing list
> Coco at maltedmedia.com
> http://five.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/coco

More information about the Coco mailing list