This Cosmic Baseball Roster has been removed because it displayed images created by Mr. Ron Bevirt. Mr. Bevirt, also known as "Hassler" when he was a member of that guerilla theater group of the 1960s called The Merry Pranksters, did not authorize, approve or desire his copyrighted images to be used in the context of the Cosmic Baseball Association.
"The Congress shall have power...to promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." (U.S. Constitution: Article I, Section VIII, Clause 8.)|
The history of copyright law in the United States is embedded in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. With roots in the 1710 English Statute of Anne (which in turn had its roots in the rise of the printing press and the Licensing Act of 1662) the concept of creator ownership of intellectual property was clearly embedded in U.S. copyright law. Initially an author maintained rights for fourteen years and then received another fourteen year extension, if the author was alive. In 1790 the U.S. Congress passed the first Copyright Act.
There have been subsequent revisions to the Copyright Act. In 1831 the term of ownership ws increased to an initial 28 year period with a 14 year renewal if the author was still alive. In the 1909 revision to the copyright laws the copyright term was extended to an initial 28 year period with a 28 year renewal option. The 1976 revision to the Copyright Act extended the term of ownership to life of the author plus fifty years. On October 27, 1998 the Sony Bono Copyright Term Extension Act extended the term of copyright ownership to life of the author plus 70 years.
With the appearance of the networked digitial environment, the laws governing copyright have become taxed. With a growing information infrastructure that exists as a seamless web of communications, networked computers, and databases, protecting copyrights has become problematic. Who is responsible for a copyright infringement on a web page hosted by a service provider but maintained by a non-employee user? Is the service provider and the user both in violation? This is just one relatively simple issue; there are more issues that intellectual property experts are confronting.
In 1998 the United States enacted the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Public Law 105-304)[DMCA] which attempted to deal with some of the issues associated with copyright protection in the digital universe. The DMCA met with a mixed response. The Software and entertainemnt industries generally favored the law; scientists, librarians and academics did not.