It's bizzare to think that current law works against recycling throwaways. And even more amazing to think of all the latent economic growth that's possible from enabling the public domain. I am writing my congresswomen about the potential economic impact of fair rights.
...The idea is a simple one: Fifty years after a work has been published, the copyright owner must pay a $1 maintanence fee. If the copyright owner pays the fee, then the copyright continues. If the owner fails to pay the fee, the work passes into the public domain. Based on historical precedent, we expect 98% of copyrighted works would pass into the public domain after just 50 years. They could keep Mickey for as long as Congress lets them. But we would get a public domain...
We need to your help to resist this now. At this stage, all that we need is one congressperson to introduce the proposal. Whether you call it the Copyright Term Deregulation Act, or the Public Domain Enhancement Act, doesn’t matter. What matters is finding a sponsor, so we can begin to show the world just how extreme this debate has become: They have already gotten a 20 year extension of all copyrights just so 2% can benefit; and now they object to paying just $1 for that benefit, so that no one else might compete with them.
If you believe this is wrong, here are two things you can do: (1) Write your Representative and Senator, and ask them to be the first to introduce this statute; point them to the website http://eldred.cc, and ask them to respond. And even more importantly, (2) blog this request, so that others who think about these issues can get involved in the conversation.
I have given this movement as much as I can over the past four years, and I will not stop until we have reclaimed the public domain. Stay tuned for more litigation, and more ideas from Creative Commons. But please take these two steps now.