30 Sep 2002 @ 1:04 PM 

Did you know that not all books pay royalties to their authors or estates? Public Domain is a great concept, in fact it is the default status for all works. Copyright is an artificial construct intended to encourage artists to publish their works, in exchange for a time-limited monopoly on copies. Gets the authors some money for their work, but the art is eventually free for all. When the USA was founded, copyright was set at 14 years, with an additional 14 year extension possible. Copyright now in the US is set at 70 years after the death of the author. Nuts, eh? How is giving his heirs a monopoly going to encourage the author to produce more work after he’s dead? The logic behind copyright is completely twisted by post-mortem rights, especially on the order of 2 generations.

Anyway, I’ve gotten up to 1995 in downloading the Gutenberg Project, and now I see this new thing. It’s a bookmobile that doesn’t loan books, it gives them out. That’s right, the books cost about one buck each, all nicely bound and laser-printed. The catch – the books are all public domain, which is the only way to afford giving them away, and led to my opening rant. Ta

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 26 Jun 2006 @ 07:40 PM

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