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petition in support of (IMO) a very good solution to the problem of forgotten works not being released to the public domain, the Public Domain Enhancement Act. Read it and consider signing.
Lessig: reclaiming the public domain
That act would require American copyright holders to pay $1 fifty years after a work was published. If they pay the $1, the copyright continues. If they don't, the work passes into the public domain. Historical estimates would suggest 98% of works would pass into the public domain after 50 years. The Act would do a great deal to reclaim a public domain.To restate: Copyright owners who care about retaining ownership (a la Disney) would be required to pay the entirely reasonable registration fee of $1 per work. No one who cares even a little about their work would have it taken from them. The Act would simply enable the rest of the work (which is an enormous amount of material) to be made available for public use.
Under current law, most of that work will be kept locked up until it is 95 years old (at which point some of the works [particularly films] will have decayed into nothing). If no one will bother to pay $1 to keep it locked up for 45 more years, why not set it free?
I think this is a great compromise with content owners. See the FAQ for more. And consider signing the petition.
Apple switches on PowerBook cuts [CNET]
The standard 12-inch PowerBook ... drops in price by $200 to $1,599.
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