Originally Posted by HarryT
Another New Year, so most of us can enjoy a whole range of new books entering the public domain. The majority of us, who live in countries with a "life+70" copyright law, now have books by authors who died during 1942 in the public domain (most notably, for English-speaking reader, the prolific author Ernest Bramah); people in countries with a "life+50" copyright law (such as Canada), can now freely enjoy the works of authors who died during 1962, such as William Faulkner, Hermann Hesse, and Howard Garis.
People in the United States, as usual, get nothing at all. Yet again, not one new work has entered the US public domain, and nor will any do so for many years to come.
I'm not absolutely sure of this, but I think that the difference is that in the US we are used to disobeying the law, so if we really want something for free we can usually get it. On the other hand, we are a rich country, and even the poor among us are used to paying for things people in other countries can only dream of. I don't think any young person here would hesitate to find and download a book offered in another English speaking country, but the vast majority of them would pay for it anyway. Let us hope that someday the Congress of the US will be less corrupted by monied interests, both conservative and liberal, and will only enact laws the majority of us will willingly obey.