A copyright lasts for the artist’s lifetime plus 75 years. A patent lasts 20 years. Is this even close to being fair?
I can kind of see it. A patent can directly be responsible for saving someone’s life. If you don’t have the money to pay the monopoly (read patent holder), which can charge anything it sees fit, you could die. So a shortened patent longevity might be seen as being compassionate.
No one is going to die if they aren’t given a proper recording of ‘Happy Birthday’ played for them at their birthday. So maybe we can extend the monopoly of the artist longer.
It stinks to high heaven. This doesn’t even approximate a fair system. Let’s name the people on the patent side as scientists and on the copyright side as fine artists. In our capitalist society the scientists are given short shrift. Largely we tell them they are so useful that the monetary gain given fine artists can never be theirs.
What should we do? Lengthen the patent length? People will die. Progress will be slowed. How about decreasing the length of a copyright to 20 years?
And the recording companies make such a big deal out of file sharing. Maybe scientists ought to be able to download anything pre 1990, guilt free. It would only be fair.
I know I have simplified in this article. I just wanted to say things in a stark manner so my points would be obvious. For instance, I think performances are copyrighted for “only” 50 years in this country (Canada). And instead of scientists, inventors usually do the patenting. It’s just that inventors are almost invariably schooled in sciences. The basic science stuff that we all learn in school isn’t even covered by patents or copyrights. Coming up with a new accepted theory gives no protection, so maybe the straight scientists should be allowed to copy and download anything from any year. And I avoided talking about patent extensions because Canada does not allow it.