Monday, July 05, 2010

Crazy Iranian Copyright

Like everything in Iran, our copyright law has always irrational and haphazard. Up until now, the copyright law for books was retained for the heirs of the author for thirty years after his death. Also, a work is not automatically copyrighted like in most other countries. It has to be registered (typical Iranian bureaucracy), and that means a book cannot be copyrighted unless it is approved by the authorities. Lately however, the crazy law has changed again into something even more insane.

The Iranian legislators changed the copyright law by removing its time limit entirely. From now on, any copyrighted work will be the property of the creator and his/her inheritors indefinitely. And if at any given point of time, there are no more inheritors, the copyrighted work will be passed on to the supreme leader! So we should forget about a Project Gutenberg equivalent for Iranian works. The ISNA report rationalizes the passing on of the work to the supreme leader as "for public use," that is the work will be owned to the leader so that he can use it "for the public benefit" as he sees fit. Again here's a typical behavior of the Islamic regime. Instead of passing something directly to the people (as in other countries in which the work goes to the public domain after a certain amount of time), it is handed to the authorities, because they see themselves the only ones who know the good of people.

UPDATE: A friend told me that the law has been vetoed by the Guardian Council, though I can't find any sources to corroborate the story.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Gods and Atheists

[T]he gods had a habit of going round to atheists' houses and smashing their windows.

--The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett

If only gods did that in our world too (or kept on doing that for the last millennia or so), a lot of doubts concerning their existence would vanish.

Note to terrorists and extremists: No. You doing that in their place, even if it's by the will of God/gods, doesn't prove anything.