Sat, 17 May 2003 19:33:33 GMT

Put the “public” back in the public domain
Lawrence Lessig is looking for a few good congressmen:

&nbsp 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.

It seems that there was one member of congress willing to introduce this bill, but the lobbyists got to him/her. So Prof. Lessig is calling on people to write their representatives and ask them to do something relatively small and achievable to redress the copyright imbalance that prevails today.

This, it seems to me, is a good fight, worth giving some long-haul energy. [Scott Rosenberg's Links & Comment]

I think this is a great idea, and I want to know about that stanford library 1000 page an hour thing, cause i know that i have books that are out of copyright that could be scanned, and then i could use material from those books much more easily in my courses.