All creativity and knowledge owes something to what came before — every creator builds on the ideas that came before them. Copyright is at the center of the public commons — it’s a limited right that is given to creators, but it also has a term limit to ensure we all benefit from culture and knowledge. Both elements are needed for a vibrant culture and the proliferation of knowledge.
Right now, 12 nations around the Pacific rim are making decisions in secret that could have far-reaching impacts for copyright law around the world. And from what we’ve seen, the decisions are likely to be great news for large rights-holding companies and bad news for everyone else. Trans-PacificPartnership negotiators want to add another 20 years to the minimum copyright term of 50 years after the death of the author.
Creative Commons believes that whenever the terms, scope, or duration of copyright are under discussion, lawmakers should consider not only the interests of copyright-holders, but also the rights of others to access and use copyrighted materials. Copyright law should strike a balance, giving an incentive to create while also giving the public permission to use and build on that creativity.
We’re joining the EFF, the Wikimedia Foundation, Open Knowledge, the Association of Research Libraries, and dozens of other organizations to urge you to take action. Visit ourfairdeal.org to read more about the agreement and sign a statement to let negotiators know that you oppose changes to copyright law that lock down creativity and damage the public commons.
PS: If you believe that copyright law should help foster a public commons for everyone, we want to fight alongside you. Please consider making a donation to Creative Commons to support our work.