Interminable copyrights and the (future) history of journalism

Over on Techdirt, I wrote a short piece about how uncertainty surrounding ridiculously long copyright terms is likely keeping newspapers from the 1920s onward out of major archives. We’re very likely in the midst of a sea change in journalism, but future generations may not be able to study what we’re producing and exploring as likely business shifts make the copyright question even thornier. From the article:

In the world of media journalism, we talk a lot about the future. But we can’t have a coherent conversation about that without thinking about the past and the present. And those thoughts, in turn, rely on access to the history that we’ve allowed to be locked up under effectively unlimited copyright restrictions or as orphan works.

Per usual, the comments over at Techdirt, too, have been lively.