The Ransoming of the Public Domain

May 4, 2004

An excellent summary of Lawrence Lessig‘s concerns about the ransoming of the public domain to Hollywood interests can be found in this article from the UCLA International Institute.

If you’re looking for a short way to explain this to someone who’s not been following it, this might be the piece to use.

Some 98% of all published works or films go out of commercial production after the first year, but are kept out of the public domain for many decades because they are not distinguished from the small number of works that have ongoing commercial value.

That’s each and every year. The vast majority of the creative output of the human race is simply unavailable for an ever-increasing period of time, due to resistance to simple solutions that would still protect any intellectual properties anyone cared enough to protect.

(via TeleRead)