Re: EU snipers
Don't worry about economics and the wealth divide. Don't worry about nuclear waste. Don't worry about the environment. You're screwing things up for your generation and a great many number of generations to come, but don't worry, EVENTUALLY everything will be fine. Think about the big picture! Stop being so selfish!
The point is, we shouldn't just accept things as they are because that's how it is and it will eventually work itself out. We should actually have laws that reflect the best interests of mankind both in the future and now. Some things shouldn't wait. If we can identify that mankind isn't best served by an estate retaining copyright for 70 years after death (and I think it's fairly clear we have), then we should change it!
Neil Gaiman is a bad example anyway. It's trivially easy and relatively cheap to buy his books even after death. The point is, we have thousands (probably millions) of potentially orphaned photos out there. Most of them are probably just holiday snaps and of no interest to anyone else, but many of them are of historically interesting events, and snapshots of a time that we would like to learn about. We can't publish many of them because the author is no longer identifiable and therefore we can't gain permission. Or the author is identified, but dead, and by law, the estate of a death person is legally obliged to maximise returns, so there's little chance of the estate choosing to release the photos to the public domain, particularly if the deceased was a famous photographer. The irony is that it's easier for photos to be released into the public domain while the photographer was alive than when he or she has been dead for 60 years. Such is the mess that is our current copyright situation.