Shootout in Hollywood
I found this article in a June Forbes and was amazed at the tone it takes. The movie industry has its collective panties in a bunch because actors and actresses demand to get paid royalties for work they did dating back to the 1950’s. The article describes these royalties as "a virtual corporate welfare system." I think the absurdity can, as usual, be best expressed by a lawyer:
To Greg S. Bernstein, a Los Angeles lawyer who represents smaller producers, it is the equivalent of giving some of a building’s rental income to the architect who designed it. “It’s illogical why writers and directors should get a percentage for the rest of their life,” Bernstein complains.
It just boggles the mind that the industry has tried so hard to extend copyrights until they’re virtually limitless, only to complain that the people who do the actual creation continue to be compensated under the very terms they negotiated with congress. Of course it’s corporate welfare &emdash; the motion picture industry was very specific in making sure that the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act was a great big tub of corporate welfare.
To sum up: the motion picture industry wants perpetual copyright so it can make perpetual income on its intellectual capital at the expense of the people and public domain and future creations, but it balks at the idea of the very people who create their intellectual capital making perpetual income off their work.