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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) BS: Copyright and folk (48) RE: BS: Copyright and folk 25 Sep 00

I'm not vexed by songwriters or composers claiming copyright in their own original work in a traditional style. I'm not vexed by claims of copyright in modifications or adaptations of traditional material. After all, one of the purposes of the public domain is to be copied. I become vexed when someone who adapted a traditional air tries to claim copyright in the entire air, not just in the changes (see my passing mention of the "derivative work deconvolution problem" above). It may not always be possible to indicate where the unoriginal material leaves off and the original material begins, but I suspect we might practice this sort of careful line-drawing more than we do. And I become disappointed when someone who makes profitable use of the public domain turns around and supports unreasonable expansions in the scope or duration of copyright--saying, in effect, "it's OK for me to copy and modify the work of Victor Hugo, but I hope to put off as long as possible the day when anyone gets to do with my work what I have been able to do with Hugo's."


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