June 11, 2003  ·  Lessig

Cabinet Magazine has a great graf that shows the stagnation of the public domain, as well as an interactive version showing the same. If the numbers are right, then this battle to restore (in effect) a renewal requirement is the most important battle to reclaim the public domain that we could wage.

  • http://home.telepath.com/~hrothgar Timothy Phillips

    Supposedly the numbers of registered works come from
    the records of the copyright office, but I wish they had so

    The number of registrations, of course, is not the same as the
    number of works: A dozen songs registered as a “song book”
    will be 12 songs promoted to the public domain once the
    copyright expires. On the other hand, a compilation of
    public domain stories registered as a “compilation” in
    theory doesn’t take any of the individual stories out of the
    public domain.

    But while counting the number of registrations isn’t the same
    as counting the number of works, I have no better method
    to offer.

    Qualitatively the shape of their no-extensions-since-1963
    curve seems to lie between the predictions of my
    constant authorship per year model:


    and my constant authorship per capita per year model:


  • http://fortboise.org/blog/ Tom von Alten

    I’m sorry, but it doesn’t qualify as a “great graf” with a non-zero baseline that makes a factor of 2 look like a factor of 3. The facts are compelling; twisting them only weakens one’s case.