Originally posted by spruce112358
Copyright protections have been extended shamefully due to a phenomenon that Milton Friedman summarized in "Free to Choose".
Year_________Length of Copyright
1790________14 years (same as a patent) + 14 year extension
1831________28 years + 14 year extension
1909________28 years + 28 year extension
1976________life of the author + 50 years OR
_ ...[text shortened]... the same phenomenon is not going on with the current health care legislation -- think again.
The point about the difference in time between a patent and a copyright is an interesting one. I think one reason for a distinction is that a copyrighted work cannot really be a necessity or something necessary to maintain commerce.
A patent is for a device, such as a drug or process. People might need patented goods; such as drugs or machines that aid in commerce in other ways.
So, whereas patents do hurt commerce and deprive people of what might be necessities, copyrights really do not. Maybe that's the reason for the distinction.