I came across this quote a few weeks ago when reading an article about piracy:
Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy. - Tim O'Reilly
It is interesting to note that most people’s creative side, like myself, will just remain in obscurity. Even if I keep this site up for 80 years, the text upon it will slowly disappear from the net when I am gone. It is a wonder why people fight so hard for copyright extensions since by it very definition, it slows the spread of their idea.
Now works stay locked up for nearly 100 years. Good if you made it big corporate entity, but for the vast majority of works, it stinks since it relegates these people to obscurity simply because there is value in gate keeping.
The gate keeping is the worst part because it locks up culture, preventing people from reading a work, making derivatives copies that build our culture, and sharing great pieces with their friends. Don’t get me wrong, I do like copyright because it may give people the incentive to create knowing that they can profit and continue to do what they love to do most, create. However, the time period should be shortened to give society a chance to build off it. I don’t know how long, but 10-20 years seems ample.
Shortened time period might give creators more incentive to continue to create art, and give people who have grown to love the work a chance to use their imagination on it. Once in the wild an idea becomes bigger than its creator, and to restrict ideas is a great injustice to society.