Copyright monopolies vary widely from place to place on this Earth. But the vast majority of countries offer these monopolies and I would say that the United States system of life of the artist plus 70 years (it’s actually more complex than this) is close to the median.
Having earning power beyond your death gets me to ask, now that the dead can make a living, certainly there are other things they can do, up to 70 years from their death?
Shouldn’t the dead be allowed to vote? Let’s just talk to the earning dead a little bit before their death. Maybe they can make something up, like a will. Perhaps they wish to vote for the same party in perpetuity. Perpetuity would mean up to 70 years after death. Or maybe some piece of legislation is key to how they are? Say any monetary improvements to medicaire will cause the earning dead to switch parties they vote for.
The conservative parties of the world are frothing and hyperventilating at that thought. Keeping things the same for long periods of time is after all, almost the definition of conservative. If you were waiting for enough old people to die to legalize marijuana or same sex marriage, this approach might very well dash your hopes.
An equal rights movement could be started by the earning dead, saying that having children has for far too long been the domain of the living. The living dead have DNA too, and can’t it be used to make clones of themselves? Hopefully their copyright monopoly lasts long enough to get the clone to adulthood.
The earning dead could revolutionize marriage. Instead of “till death do us part” the copyright holder could vow with their love: “till death do us part plus 70 years”. Isn’t that so much more romantic? Expect this to be seized upon by the 80 year old billionaire marrying a 30 year old. Even if the 80 year old only lives a few months they could guarantee the 30 year old does not wed again for 70 more years. And, on a very rare occasion, the 30 year old could die next week and the 80 year old billionaire could find massive life extending programs. 150 years old sounds a bit old to get back into the dating game. But that might be how long the billionaire would have to wait.
I think that the earning dead should be pointed out. How about the illustration below which shows the earning dead managing to claw back (at least partially) into the land of the living. I believe that this “sculpture” should be added to the earning dead, wherever they lie. As an endpoint for us to aspire to rather than the normal, lazy dead where most of us are probably headed.