> Out of curiosity: If you were writing a new copyright statute to
> software, how long would you make the duration of copyright?
Five, with the ability to extend with five more if registered and source
code placed in escrow for the public upon expiration.
Interesting question the way you worded it - "a new copyright statute
to cover software." I read it to mean the same scheme as now, which is
same term for all types of works. To that, I would say between 30
years and life of the author, but not longer. I do believe that an
author of a work should get all the income from the work as long as
it's at a commercial level of income production. So you get to earn
the fruits of your labor but your kids are on their own. Part of this
might be to protect moral rights too, so that an artist doesn't have
to witness the mutilation of their work.
Software is a different thing, though. It's continuously improved (so
you don't want to protect against "mutilation") and has a shorter
commercial lifespan which would suggest a much shorter term of
protection. Five seems short to me, but I don't really know. I
probably would have said 10.