Yes I am worried about the public domain 120 years from now.
It'll be cracked long before the copyright expires. I'm not worried.
Is writing to a congressman your idea of abdicating yourself of the responsibility to act ethically?
Sure, I should act ethically. And if the ethical problem is a problem with a law - then the solution should be in the law. I'm a firm believer that fixing something at the root cause is far more effective than trying to mess around with the side effects.
If you believe in equality under the law then its not hard to see that copyright holders can curb your (public) rights by technical measures.
Please list the rights you believe I should have, along with explanations.
After that, list the rights you believe copyright holders should have, along with explanations.
Otherwise known as "the law"
I've read the law. I am not a lawyer, and this should not be considered legal advice, but I know of only two ways for a work to enter public domain:
- If the original copyright holder explicitly puts the work into the public domain (via a written waiver), or
- If the copyright expires and is not renewed.
I know of no other way for a work to become public domain.
Strictly speaking, the law grants exclusive rights to the copyright holders - it does not grant rights to the public.
"Public domain" is, strictly speaking, a loss of those exclusive rights.
The rights are as follows (Circular 92, §106):
§ 106 · Exclusive rights in copyrighted works
Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;
(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;
(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;
(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and
(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
Maybe you agree with that, maybe you don't. Maybe you think the rights should be changed.
But those are the rights set forth in copyright law.
Love them, hate them, say whatever you want about them. But please don't misrepresent them.