Well, since I keep misconveying my opinions on copyright, to the point where I keep coming off as sounding like I don’t want copyright at all (Which is not actually my opinion), I might as well make a post detailing my opinions on what changes I’d want to copyright in plain and simple form.
- Copyright duration in the US should go back to its pre-1976 duration of 56 years.
- For clarification’s sake, that would mean that everything up to 1959 as of now would be Public Domain, which I think is pretty fair.
- An exemption would be made for characters who are major “Mascots” and “Logos” of their companies, to throw a bone corporate entities to keep them from whining, but it would need to be super carefully designed without allowing for loopholes for corporate abuse to take huge swaths of characters out of the public domain because “They’re logos now!” with a key target of we-do-not-want-to-let this-happen being the hoarders of Conan’s trademark despite all the original Howard stories being Public Domain
- Our orphan works laws should be changed, but mainly against large corporate entities who either hoard works without re-releasing them or cannot use them due to rights tanglery, not via forcing smaller creators to have to register everything like some bad proposals have said.
- My idea for a nonprofit to buy up such works & cult classics would be a stopgap in the meantime, but I would stress that it would be from corporate rightsholders, not vulture-ing off smaller creators
- Also, more protection for authors who archive and circulate works that are under copyright but would almost certainly disappear if not for that such archival, such as wildly out of print books or ROMs of games left to rot (Like, as Superbunnyhop mentioned as an example; old Pong roms), or even fan translations of works never brought over to a certain country, though there needs to be a “transition process” when that work gets re-distributed by their rightsholders, or (again) a way for it to go into the Public Domain if that redistribution will never come.
- More protections for non-profit fanworks, or even money-making works like Let’s Plays that don’t do much in effect to harm the actual licensing of the original work, to avoid stuff like NIntendo’s persecution of all those fangames.
- Less “law” and more ‘ideology,” but I do wish creators felt freer to release certain elements of their work into the Public Domain. and by elements I mean more akin to beasts or materials or artifacts or multiversal entities or versatile characters rather than works as a whole
- Not under obligation to mind you, lord knows a lot of creators have very good reasons for the keeping of their stuff closed (The cases of Candle Cover, Slender Man, and Pepe the Frog being key examples), I just wish more would consider that as a viable way to let people play in their sandbox.
- My examples for this going well would be the way nerd culture has inadvertently done this with Frank Herber’ts Sandworms and Spice or everything in the Cthulhu Mythos.
So yea, not so much “Down with copyright entirely” as “An expansion of the creative and archival commons, keeping copyright more to protect small creators rather than huge corporate behemoths”
Just clarifying, and god do I hope I didn’t say anything stupid…