I’m in Paris for one of the Sundays of Advent. I haven’t been back since January when the fight was raging in the National Assembly over the then-latest efforts of the EFFluviati to destroy capitalism one song at a time.
It’s a bit nippy here this time of year, and I went into a pharmacie to see if I could get some Airborne, which I’d run out of (and which I swear by as an effective prevention for colds). Now what might my preferences for home remedies have to do with intellectual property?
Apparently, Airborne is not available in France. When I asked the pharmacien for the product, she had never heard of it, and asked me what was in it. I told her it was a secret formula. She looked at me like I’d said “England swings like Foucault do”. “But what is it made of?” She asked again. I said, “It is a secret formula, a trade secret, like Coca Cola!”
The pharmacien said: “In France, there are no secret formulas.”
I said: “In France, there is no Airborne.”
But there is Lessig, apparently. “Attention, les enfants!”
Google Hates Artists Redux: A Lump of Coal from Google’s Shill, or "How’s that Stock Working for you, Larry?"
Ok, so I’m wrong.
For almost 10 years now, I’ve been waging a war against retrospective term extension. My simple argument has been that copyright is about creative incentives, and you can’t create incentives retrospectively.
I now see I am apparently wrong.
As reported yesterday, there was an ad in the FT listing 4,000 musicians who supported retrospective term extension. If you read the list, you’ll see that at least some of these artists are apparently dead (e.g. Lonnie Donegan, died 4th November 2002; Freddie Garrity, died 20th May 2006). I take it the ability of these dead authors to sign a petition asking for their copyright terms to be extended can only mean that even after death, term extension continues to inspire.
I’m not yet sure how. But I guess I should be a good sport about it, and just confess I was wrong. For if artists can sign petitions after they’ve died, then why can’t they produce new recordings fifty years ago?
Isn’t Little Larry the clever one? His MacArthur Foundation-supported clerks determined that a couple dead folk showed up on the PPL’s list of supporters of the copyright term extension in the UK. Only in the world of Google Law would anyone find it funny that heirs of artists might be interested in putting a roof over their heads, and only a truly snide little man like Lessig would find it funny that artists might want to have a protectable interest in property that could be left to produce income for their heirs.
Of course we should not be surprised by Google Law’s chief proponent taking this position—recall the statements from the Stanford madrassah on the Joyce case: “The works of a famous person, after they die, are more than the property of a grandchild. They are the heritage of the larger world.”
Yep, Little Larry is out to Google the heirs of artists everywhere.
God bless us, every one.