Eternal Copyright: a modest proposal
[T]o make it entirely fair, Eternal Copyright should be retroactively applied so that current generations may benefit from their ancestors’ works rather than allowing strangers to rip your inheritance off. Indeed, by what right do Disney and the BBC get to adapt Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, and Sherlock without paying the descendants of Lewis Carroll, the Brothers Grimm, and Arthur Conan Doyle?
Of course, there will be some odd effects. For example, the entire Jewish race will do rather well from their eternal copyright in much of the Bible, and Shakespeare’s next of kin will receive quite the windfall from the royalties in the thousands of performances and adaptations of his plays – money well earned, I think we can all agree.
Eternal Copyright has been tried – divine right rule; USSR, Cuba, North Korea; petroleum exporting states, national security and Homeland Severity. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Entropy. Unfair advantage elicits unfair breach.
To transmit is to award. The only workable defense is fair pricing.
Don’t forget about the guys that came up with the fire, wheel and hot watter.