Artists and entertainment producers are hard-working people. A musician works hard to create a masterpiece, no doubt about that. I personally love music and enjoy listening. A music piece can make someone happy, sad or generate all sort of emotions. These artists and by that I don’t mean just musicians, have to be protected by law and receive economic benefits of their works. This is done by royalties for art and entertainment.
An inventor or a researcher is a person or group of people which poses technical and scientific knowledge. These pieces of knowledge have been gathered during many years of studying and hard work. Without these people, society will not have any progress. It is fair to say that behind every cure or every invention there is a smart person or group which made them possible. You would not have that shiny new phone in your pocket if these people would not think of it.
OK, let’s now compare how long one can take royalty payment vs how long one can own a technical patent.
A patent is normally approved for 20 years. It means that from the date that a patent is submitted and for max 20 years the owner of a patent has right on his discovery. It is of course not so simple because from time to time the owner of the patent has to maintain his ownership i.e. to pay fees periodically. When a patent is registered, all the information about the patent is registered and published. This means that everyone has access to technical information. Large and multinational companies often use these patents without paying the rights to the owner. You may ask how is this possible?
Well, a large enough company have enough resources to manipulate and use loop wholes in the registration of the patent. When this happens, the owner of the patent has to get lawyers to sue the company which is using his patent. This requires lots of money and resources. It takes a long time. Often the owner of a patent can not afford these costs and thereby, either have to make some sort of agreement or just hope that the next one who uses his patent will pay for it.
Art and entertainment are using something called copyright. This is what royalty fee means. One uses a copyright material and pay a fee as royalty to the owner of the copyright. Now I would like you to guess how long copyright lasts. 20 years? 30 years?
Copyright protection lasts for 70 years. It means it 70 years after the death of the author copyright is still valid. For other types of works like movies, the copyright lasts for 95 years after publication and it last 120 years form the creation date.
This doesn’t make sense and it is not fair. A copyright for a song is valid up to 120 years but a patent for new technology is valid only for 20 years.
Is this a fact? -Yes, this is a fact, do your own research. is it fair? -No. The problem is people behind copyright and patent are a different group.
Often powerful people and rich people are in entertainment. These people have roots in many organizations. They can change laws and enforce any wish to ensure their profit stays as long as possible.
People behind patents are intellectuals who often lack resources and money to enforce that patent will generate revenues for them.
One example of this is Håkan Lans. I don’t want to go in details but do some research and you will find what they did with this wonderful inventor.
In the end, if you like the article