Appendix 1-14 

A Brief History of the Internet 

Web site by Gifcom.

Let's Follow The Money Some More
Just a few months ago, the music industry completed record
sales figures for any year in history, moving 1 billion of
a combination of CDs, tapes, records and music videos, for
a staggering $12 billion dollars.

The response to this success, a few weeks ago, was for the
music industry to propose, not a rebate to their customers
but just the opposite, an additional 20 years during which
the music industry could have a continued monopoly on that
music, and. . .purely incidentally. . .this monopoly would
also be extended to books, television, movies, video games
and everything else that could be copyrighted.

I think the only way to understand this is to put it in an
elementary perspective such as this:

Right now, you take your kid to see a movie, any movie the
producers are releasing right now.  Let's say your kid has
been alive 5 years, under current law, that kid has to get
to 80 years old before s/he can own a copy of that movie--
without the permission of the copyright holder. . .and the
average age such kids can be expected to live is less than
80 years. . .thus making the copyright permanent for us or
the kids we take to the movies.

The same is true for all current copyrighted materials and
the music industry is trying to add another 20 years to an
already "life sentence". . .and this when their sales have
just broken all records in history, if you will pardon the
pun. . . .

Since the founding of the United States when copyrights or
patents were proposed by Thomas Jefferson for 17 years the
period was lengthened to 28 years, plus another 28 years--
and most recently to 75 years for corporate copyrights and
"life plus 50 years" for individual copyrights.

That means that "Zen and the Art of the Internet," written
by a 20 year old, who will be expected to live for another
55 years or so, will still be under copyright sentencing a
century from now, and will be totally out of date and will
be totally useless other than as a historical footnote.

If this is the response of an industry that has just had a
huge record bashing year of sales, a response not to lower
prices but to raise them, then we are doing something in a
backwards manner in the case of copyright.

A Book by Michael Hart