Re: Do pay, and they'll take it away
Fairly simple. Since corporations can't hold any copyrights they pay the copyright holder for the privilege of using copyrighted material.
Limited lifespan of the copyright, if the holder expires before the copyright, it goes to the estate. If there's multiple people inheriting they will need to use a private law solution to see who gets what. That's a strictly private affair.
If the inheritor is a corporation it instead goes to the next of kin or failing that the state (public domain).