[Coco] [Color Computer] The ongoing Hot Coco saga

Dennis Bathory-Kitsz bathory at maltedmedia.com
Fri Jul 22 13:55:10 EDT 2005

At 10:47 AM 7/22/05 -0700, John R. Hogerhuis wrote:
>There's hope that the pendulum is swinging back though... now that
>everyone has a "printing press." Other than true work-for-hire employees
>and contractors, authors should always retain their copyright. All
>publishers really need is a license.

They don't want a license. They want ALL of it. It makes it easier for them
to re-use it. The NY Times got into hot water when it archived all its old
articles -- the authors objected, claiming their contracts didn't allow it.
The Times made the case for future technologies resembling microfilm. The
argument was never finally settled, and actually helped spur the for-hire
movement among publishers, who had before rarely used the option.

>An interesting Creative Commons concept is the "founder's copyright" 

Creative Commons has good ideas but unfortunately their implementation is
problematic. The abandonment of copyright is a rather difficult process,
and heirs to a copyright that has been 'given' to the public domain either
formally (as I have) or with a Founders' Copyright can still make a case
that such a statement does not trump Federal law.

>This is a way of building a time-limit into your copyrights. It's a
>contract unlinke the Creative Commons licenses which are a whole
>different ballgame. The Founder's Copyright is so you can rest assured
>that years after you lose interest in a work but before life+70 that it
>will enter the public domain unless you choose to extend it. I think
>it's a really cool idea. It doesn't give the author any more protection
>than usual, but it gives some insurance that your creations won't be
>trapped in copyright legal purgatory like Hot Coco.

I agree with the concept and object to the copyright extensions -- and
that's coming from a guy with more than 2,000 works protected by copyright,
and a guy who has scrapped with his own Senator (Leahy) who co-authored the
bloody extension -- but I'd prefer to see a test case make its way through
the system first. Offended publishers can be pretty nasty beasts.


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