The Economist on Copyright: Shorter Terms, Expanded Fair Use

The Economist has a must-read editorial on copyright, arguing that the law has swung too far toward being restrictive. It argues for shortened copyright terms, renewal requirements, and expanded fair use.


  1. Captain Hook says:

    Hallelujah baby!
    Copyright terms and their total lack of requirement to renew, are the single biggest beef I have with current copyright law.

    Reduce those terms significantly, and I might be inclined to hang up my cutlass. Then we could have a serious talk about fair use and a host of other irritants.

    While I am aware that the powers that be wont take much advice from a one armed seafaring mariner with gold teeth, there is a good chance that they would give due consideration when the same words come from a publication such as The Economist. With the EU currently trying to press Canada into extending copyright terms without any consideration given to society, this is a most timely piece.

  2. At the risk of sounding like a liberal wacko, freeing ideas sooner and reducing iteration time on products/ideas/etc would be phenomenally beneficial to all.

    Look at the impact the internet has had on society. And it’s like 15 years old.

  3. Rupert, that’s how the open source process works: release early, release often. (You sound like someone who knows open source, but if you don’t, Firefox, Linux, the immensely popular Apache web server, Ubuntu, GNU, etc. are open source).

    This fellow has a pretty influential paper on the topic:

    And yes, if I haven’t made it obvious, I totally agree with you 🙂