Mudcat Café message #801032 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #52243   Message #801032
Posted By: GUEST
11-Oct-02 - 09:57 AM
Thread Name: Copyright Extens.Case @ SCOTUS 10/9/02
Subject: RE: Copyright Extens.Case @ SCOTUS 10/9/02
toadfrog asks, "why is it so out of line for the U.S. to conform its statute to [Europe's]"

The CTEA is out of line because

(1) the European extension was itself a spoils-grab by powerful interests, (click here) using the Patricia case as a pretext. The problem of parallel imports into Germany could have been solved by other means than extending a perfectly reasonable life+50 copyright term. The German extension had been justified as a way to recover from wartime losses. This means, or should have meant, that it was always intended as a temporary departure from the Berne norm of life+50.

(2) the CTEA doesn't bring U.S. law in line with Europe's; authors of post-1978 works now get life+70 in the U.S. and throughout Europe. The terms are "harmonized" to this extent. But U.S. authors already had life+70 in Germany, due to an old treaty between the U.S. and Germany. And many important works are "works for hire" under U.S. law, a category that doesn't exist in Europe. There is no clear "harmonization" there. In some European countries, sound recordings aren't covered by copyright at all, but by "neighboring rights" which last for 50 years. The U.S. copyright on sound recordings was already 75 years. The CTEA has now extended it to 95, nearly twice as long as Europe's. (For more data on "harmonization", click here).

(3) the 95-year term for pre-1978 works, which were originally promised to the public after 56 years, a term that was then extended to 75 years, and has now been extended again to 95 years, is unreasonable on its face. Even if some other country had such a ridiculously long term, it wouldn't make it less ridiculous for the U.S. to adopt it.