"Forever less one day."

When I first read this quote, I was sure it was a gag. But it's real!
Mary Bono, speaking to the House of Representatives:

"Actually, Sonny wanted the term of copyright protection to last forever. I am informed by staff that such a change would violate the Constitution. I invite all of you to work with me to strengthen our copyright laws in all of the ways available to us. As you know, there is also Jack Valenti's proposal for term to last forever less one day. Perhaps the Committee may look at that next Congress."
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14 Responses:

  1. mcfnord says:

    Or perhaps you may step the fuck off, Ms. Bono. He wasn't that talented! Only the historians will care about your dead husband! Don't jock them. You are out of your league!

    "If we passed a law against the color blue, artists would ignore it. Without a second thought."

  2. harryh says:

    I would have thought that you, of all people, would have gotten over that feeling of surprise when you find out how stupid other people are.

  3. giles says:

    Why am I filled with the urge to find a copy of "I Got You, Babe" and share it somehow?

  4. transiit says:

    Them's fightin' words!

    There is no reason whatsoever that anyone that would call "infinity minus one" properly limited.

    argh.

  5. otterley says:

    *dropped into the "quotes to bring with me to law school" file*

  6. dygel says:

    I think, had that gone anywhere, it would have been very interesting to see the definitions of 'forever' that Congress could whip up. I mean, are we talking about human existence or cosmic eternity or what?
    I mean, let's say we leave some films in a time capsule. Then our new robot masters find it in their cold, stainless steel hearts to have some mercy upon us with their heat lasers. And then, after we're all gone, they get wiped out by the 2012 meteor and leave the earth barren for thousands of years. After that time, the aliens from the end of Artificial Intelligence: A.I. show up and find our time capsule.
    Would Jack Valenti's definition of 'forever less a day' enable him to come back from the dead and sue the aliens for distributing digital copies of Kubrick films subsequent to the discovery?

  7. illiterat says:

    7 Oct 1998 Congressional Record, Vol. 144, page H9952

    It actually appears to be on page H9951.

    Still it's sad that it appears at all.

    • jadawin says:

      Um, no, H9952, column 1, reading the PDF at http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getpage.cgi

      H9952 CONGRESSIONAL RECORD-HOUSE October 7, 1998
      also, software. It is said that ``it all starts with
      a song,'' and these works have defined our
      culture to audiences world-wide.
      Actually, Sonny wanted the term of copyright
      protection to last forever. I am informed
      by staff that such a change would violate the
      Constitution. I invite all of you to work with me
      to strengthen our copyright laws in all of the
      ways available to us. As you know, there is
      also Jack Valenti's proposal for term to last
      forever less one day. Perhaps the Committee
      may look at that next Congress.

  8. Umm, I'm pretty sure she was making a joke. Standard technique of public speaking. Looks like the Congressional Record doesn't nclude the smileys.

    • jwz says:

      She may have been making a joke, but I would also find suspect any jokes about cannibalism coming from Jeffrey Dahmer, for example.

  9. ammonoid says:

    Lets just destroy all art now, so no one, anywhere, ever, will appreciate it.