Congress extended copyright an additional twenty-five hundred years. Spike Greenbaum owed every dollar she had made to Israel, because St. Jerome's translation was based on Hebrew sacred texts. To use the Bible, all Catholics became Jewish, and Disney bought the rights to the Iliad and the Odyssey.
And everyone was content, except for the storytellers who had to buy a Disney license or prove that their work did not owe anything to any story that had ever been part of human civilization.
As I was leaving for work yesterday, Smirk asked if I still had the Electric King James Bible up and running. “Yes,” I said. “but the server crashed and I had yet to install mod_litbook on the backup server.”
Talk then turned towards having other translations available, and I said that yes, I wanted to have multiple versions, but I've yet to come across another translation that was in the public domain. Talk then turned towards intellectual property issues in general, and copyright in specifics and how things are going crazy here.
To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 8, clause 8
“Limited time.” Yeah, that's a good one.
And if things keep going they way they are, this little story might just end up being true.
I personally wouldn't mind seeing copyright terms being the original 14 years, plus an optional 14 year extension (and if that was the case today, my humor column would now be in the public domain instead of the pseudo-copyright-limbo that it's in right now) but short of the total collapse of Disney I don't see that happening any time soon.