Although I agree with some parts, I still have several things against your work.
I believe that copyright really is a ridiculous thing, at least once the artist dies. After all the whole reason we accord merit to artistry is because we believe that empirically, the artist who creates the work should be protected so that he can continue creating by deriving profits from his work. Copyright is merely a sign to say that “hey you’re doing good so you should have the stuff you made attributed to you as long as you’re alive so that you can continue to build your corpus”.
But why should the estate or the corporation claim the right to the artist WORK after the artist is dead? The only people who have the right-to-claim on what to do with an artist’s corpus, for remixing or whatever, are other artists. But since there’s no foundation for that, then public domain is still the best option. I believe that after the death of the artist all his work should immediately go into the public domain.
Let’s list some examples of this
- Stephen Joyce, the son of James Joyce, is one of the many examples of a greedy estate trying to milk a Genius for all his worth even after his death, when the work of the writer would be so much better left on
- Whatever you believe in, remix culture does exist. The most famous work of DJ Shadow Endtroducing is an example of an album solely made of samples from other albums. But there are some hip-hop artists who have had their work removed for usage of samples. Final Cut: Ladies and Gentlemen, is a movie made entirely from the cuts of other movies, and it has an 8.2 rating on IMDB, but it was attacked by copyright issues when it was released.
- Alex Sheremet, a great writer, talks about not being able to use Wallace Steven’s poem Yellow Afternoon for his novel because of costs. http://alexsheremet.com/public-domain-one-way-forward/ . On the other hand the whole main crux of Woody Allen’s movie, Another Woman, rests upon Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Rilke’s Archaic Torso of Apollo. Obviously since Allen is Allen he gets access to the cash, but what reason does a person who is not Wallace Stevens have for placing a price on a Wallace Stevens poem that is not only super lesser known compared to his other more well-known works, especially when they don’t have any idea how well it could have fitted in the work of a true artist?
- There’s this Japanese Visual Novel called Subarashiki Hibi where the power of a certain scene rests solely on its amazing ability to synthesize art, music, and texts from Hesse and Kenji Miyazawa. It also takes liberally from the philosophy of Wittgenstein, Spinoza, Kant, Leibiniz, Lewis Caroll, Cyrano de Bergerac, Flatland, the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde, the writings of Nicholas of Cusa, the poems of Emily Dickinson, the Bible, the economic theories of Nicholas Nassim Taleb, and Betrand Russell. Yes, the work of a work of Genius that is frequently lauded for being Cosmic, mind-blowing and life-changing. But most of it getting through seems to be due to the fact that people in the West literally don’t give a damn about a person making use of Western texts in Asia. It is artistic remixing where 20% of the text is remixed from various other sources, but the whole is so integrated and powerful that it all fits together anyway. Especially when all those works are enhanced by both Music and Art (due to being a Visual Novel).
- Public Domain works like Shakespeare have tons of editions out by so many different people, tons of movies made by so many auteur directors. It is literally integrated into the intellectual culture of the English language. I think that that makes a case for Public Domain being immediate after the artist’s death. Yea lets have an economy that squeezes out every single bit from the writer’s corpse just to keep itself functioning. Innovation > Economic Forces because while a bureau for economics can chart short term goals, it can’t chart Black Swan type Innovations that derive massive profits in the long run. Therefore the argument from economics is really the stupidest argument in the world simply because the Economy doesn’t work that way mate.