How much legal protection do content producers need?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:


The BBC commissioned a study [1] that claims the Charles Dicken’s brand brings in about £280m/year to the UK’s economy. This from a public domain “brand”. Meanwhile companies like Disney lobby for perpetual copyright to protect their own interest at the cost of all the lost opportunities that will never exist.
I don’t understand how politicians in the free enterprise countries, especially American republicans with their distaste of market regulation, could consider extremely long copyright protection to be a net benefit to the market/country. Is Disney going to stop producing movies if their copyright was only 20 years? Drug companies only receive 20 years protection and their products are ridiculously expensive to produce yet they’re still very viable businesses.