Friday, July 23, 2010

Intellectual Property Has Gone Mad

Another symptom of the fact that having a 78+life copyright term is insane: you literally can't imagine what those rights will mean by the time they expire:
The problem is that it’s still unclear — at least to Random House — who has the rights to publish the electronic versions of older titles, whose contracts don’t specify those rights because e-books simply didn’t exist when they were drafted. Random House sent a letter to literary agents in December 2009 asserting ownership of those rights, citing clauses in older agreements that allow the company to publish texts “in book form… in any and all editions.”
People who signed away their rights when the Soviet Union was a cool new experiment had to figure out what their rights would mean on the internet? What will the rights we deal with today mean in the 2100s?

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