Musical Torture & Larry Lessig Calls For Help

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According to MSNBC, US soldiers have been breaking Saddam supporters by forcing them to listen to Metallica and Barney music. If you forced me to listen to Barney for hours, I’d tell you anything you wanted to know too.
Excerpted from lessig’s blog:

“About a month ago, I started sounding optimistic about getting a bill introduced into Congress to help right the wrong of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. I was optimistic because we had found a congressperson who was willing to introduce the bill. But after pressure from lobbyists, that is no longer clear. And so we need help to counter that pressure, and to find a sponsor.

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. …

Yet the lobbyists are fighting even this tiny compromise. The public domain is competition for them. They will fight this competition. And so long as they have the lobbyists, and the rest of the world remains silent, they will win. …

If you believe this is wrong, here are two things you can do: (1) Write your Representative and Senator, and ask them to be the first to introduce this statute; point them to the website, and ask them to respond. And even more importantly, (2) blog this request, so that others who think about these issues can get involved in the conversation. …”