14 Years


I'm opposed to perpetual copyright. Since it seems that our congresscritters will perpetually extend copyright terms in response to lobbying by the likes of Disney and Warner Brothers, I respond by placing my works into the public domain. The Founders, too, were opposed to perpetual copyright, which is why the Copyright Act of 1790 limits copyright terms to 14 years (with an optional 14-year renewal). According to some recent research, the Founders were preternaturally wise, since it seems that 14 years is the optimal copyright term. But don't expect our congresscritters to return our copyright laws (or any other laws) to early-American norms anytime soon.

Peter Saint-Andre > Journal