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Leiren Jarvis
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I defended against a #zergrush on Google Search.

There is a petition out to reduce the length of copyright to pre-1978 terms of 28 years plus another 28 years should you choose to renew it. This may not be the best of copyright policies, but it really beats what we have now. NOTHING NEW has entered the Public Domain since 1978 /and/ Federal Judges have started making rulings that Congress can take works /out/ of the Public Domain. This is an attack on our culture! The pool of ideas and inspirations that we can work on without having to pay some giant corporation (b/c it's generally /not/ the actual creators that own their work anymore) is sadly shrinking, and we need to rise up and tell our government to stop listening to the big corporations and to start listening to us!

I am a creator too! And while I do generally like the idea that someone can't come along and say 'I actually made that,' I know that there are other ways of making people know that I made what I made, and if I wish to make money from my work, there are other ways to go about it that forcing an inefficient monopoly upon the market. I also fully understand that my works aren't solely of my own volition. People inspired me to create what I do, be they other artists or close friends and family. I would be shaming them all if I chose greed over letting my work be an inspiration to others.

My work is my work, regardless of the state of my copyrights on it. Copyrights only determine who can distribute, not who was the creator. Jules Verne's works don't have copyrights anymore, but people still know he created them. This is why big corps who didn't create the work can still claim 'ownership:' because they're the sole distributor.

Stories, music, and paintings existed before copyright law. We learn all the time about the rich culture of the Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians. We can have a rich culture too, but with most of our cultural heritage locked behind bars of 'pay me lots of money and I /might/ consider it' or 'we don't really know who the owner is so you can't even look at it,' we're slowly losing our colors and depth. We're stuck with the 'one and only' interpretation with no way to explore beyond 'what is' into 'what could be.'

Creative Commons licensing and Open Source licensing are not the end-all solution to our problem. In fact their existence is actually a symptom of the problem. Open Source licensing was created to keep someone from making a minor change to the program and claiming copyrights on the whole thing. Yes, it technically /is/ a twist of copyright law, but if no one could claim copyrights anyway, then the twist wouldn't be needed. Creative Commons licensing came about because our current laws do not allow creators to /choose/ for their work to go into the Public Domain from the beginning. The best Creative Commons license is Attribution only, but sadly few people choose that one. Most people go for the 'Non-commercial' license, but the line of 'commercial' becomes pretty blurry pretty quickly: is an ad that generates a minuscule amount of revenue 'commercial'? Plus a 'commercial' use is most likely going to bring a lot of attention to your work.

A book everyone should read. You can (legally) download it for free: http://www.thepublicdomain.org/
A petition to make corporations subject to the will of the people and take away their status as a 'person': http://www.sanders.senate.gov/petition/?uid=f1c2660f-54b9-4193-86a4-ec2c39342c6c
A petition to reduce copyright terms: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/!/petition/reduce-term-copyrights-maximum-56-years/MnXrd3xG

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With the advance of the digital age and breaking of the strangle hold of the gatekeepers of information, I really feel like we could benefit from getting rid of the electoral college and have a party system set up like Switzerland has here.

Just think about it! More than 2 parties to vie for the attention of uncaring individuals! More people could be active in politics, and the younger generation could actually make a voice for themselves instead of being coddled by the half-century old incumbents!

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/world/europe/political-parties-on-fringe-abound-in-switzerland.html
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