Joel Hodgson Answers

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From Slashdot:

What is your opinion on public domain laws? As someone who creates content but also relies on making derivative works of other content, do you support it? What do you think is a desirable length for something to become public domain?

I think what's going on with Creative Commons is fascinating. The concept of an artist being able to "dial in" the way they'd like the rights to their content to be used and reused is profound. For most of the public domain titles that we've used, it's a matter of the garbage not being taken out. Basically, they forgot to apply for a copyright so it in fact lapsed into the public domain.
I think public domain laws are not strict enough. 70 years beyond the life of the author is ridiculously long-- it should be cut in half. Now that we're on the subject, the Sonny Bono Term Extension Act seems suspect too (this act adds another 20 years onto the 70 years already in effect - exactly which 120 year old 'creative type' is this act supposed to benefit?). I also feel that the public domain should be merged with the national park service, but don't get me started.