The Signpost

Adolf Hitler: The Old Residency in Munich (1914).
Emily Carr: Autumn in France (1911).
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  • I believe that one has to pay for other people’s work. I pay to the plumber, I pay to the lawyer, my employer pays me too. We are all paid for what we do. My mother worked as a doctor until she retired in the 1980s; I don’t expect any of their patients to come and pay me or any of my siblings until the 2030s. We did nothing, we are entitled to nothing.
    Then we have copyright protection. I understand that the authors have every right to live off their works. But why does somebody that did nothing to make those works exist have a right to earn money from them? It is true that some heir promote the diffusion of the works of which they own a copyright, But even when it is not the case they are still entitled to that money, for something they didn’t do.
    I recall a book by Enrique Jardiel Poncela. Excluding the title, the phrase that is written with the biggest typeset is a mention about his heirs being the owners of the copyright. Jardiel Poncela died in 1952. We are still paying to the heirs, who added nothing to the creative process. Anne Frank sadly died before she could publish her book; her father did a great effort to publish it. Due to this effort I find fair that he earn money from it. But what did Otto Heinrich Frank’s heirs did that entitles them to make money out of somebody else’s book, and in this case out of somebody else’s suffering?
    I don’t care what laws and lawyers say about the legality of such a profit, I know it is not fair.
    B25es (talk) 09:27, 17 January 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi B25es, thank you for your comment! Maybe you can better understand the idea behind this rule by looking at the situation from a different perspective: Artists can make money by selling the rights to their work (a book, for example) to a publisher. The publisher is often not a person but a company and it acts in the interest of its shareholders, who want to see a steady profit come from the investment they have made in the company. And for such a long-term profit to be possible, copyright is required to outlive the artist. Now you can argue wether this kind of capitalist thinking is adequate for the field of copyright law, of course, but the law is what it is. Free knowledge activists from all over the world are trying to put an end to copyright term extension and they are currently suffering a major blow with the implementation of the TPP. Hope that helps, --Gnom (talk) 09:51, 17 January 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Intellectual property" is "property." By the argument advanced, one could not leave a business one started to one's heirs, nor one's house to one's heirs. Their are assuredly societies which have tried that system, but they rather seem to be unsuccessful at attracting people who write, or build, or seek to own anything at all. Collect (talk) 13:44, 17 January 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


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