Abandonment of intellectual property

Eq Quillen stirred the neurons recently with a suggestion that copyrights be terminated if one could claim that the holder of the copyright has abandoned his interest in the property. Quillen's real-world example was a record album less than 15 years old but no longer in print. He had to get a friend to make a copy, in violation of the copyright.

He proposes a Federal agency to administer the termination of copyrights. I'd rather keep the onus on the prior copyright holder. Make him look after his intellectual property interests by, first and foremost, keeping that property in play, trying to make money from it, with fair warning that if he lets that play slip, he risks a dramatic extension of the public's fair use rights, if not outright loss of his interest in the property.

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