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Old 01-01-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
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What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2012?

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Under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Works from 1955

The End of Eternity, The Body Snatchers, Why Johnny Can’t Read: And What You Can Do About It, Rebel Without a Cause, Lady and the Tramp, To Catch A Thief, Picasso’s Don Quixote, Tutti Frutti, and more . . .
Source: http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/publicd.../2012/pre-1976
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:55 PM   #2
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Hey now, why shouldn't my grandchildren and great grandchildren benefit from my hardwork? And frankly, I don't think I'd even bother creating anything if I was only able to reap its benefits for a few measly decades; who would? My works may end up locked in a vault somewhere for the better part of a century and then be lost to future culture, but what of it?

Sure, my works may be based on influences from earlier works that I only saw because they were in the public domain, but...uh...shut up you filthy pirate!

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Old 01-02-2012, 02:46 AM   #3
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Why not celebrate what actually has entered the public domain, rather than what might have happened in a fantasy world?

Those of us in life+70 countries now have James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. That's surely worth celebrating.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:37 AM   #4
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Just incorporate yourself as a national entity and declare all works imported within your boundaries as public goods.

But seriously, your life + whatever rules are complete and utter garbage. They only exist because those who lobby those who make the laws have not been able to convince the lawmakers to implement perpetual copyright.

There are many who feel freedom of information is the way to go, it is far simpler to implement an adequate payment system for creators in the digital realm than to try and restrict such information from those who request it. (They will obtain which informations they desire, whether you wish them to or not) Until such time as this system is actuated, we will act as though it already exists.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT
Those of us in life+70 countries now have James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. That's surely worth celebrating.
I think there's still some question on some of James Joyce's work (or at least some of the U.S. editions) in the U.S., Harry.

https://joycefoundation.osu.edu/joyc.../public-domain

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United States of America

For works published between 1923 and the end of 1977, 95 years after the year of first publication (provided that for editions published in the United States, the work was published with a copyright notice and copyright in works published between 1923 and the end of 1963 was renewed). The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples:

Pomes Penyeach (1927) - enters public domain 1 January 2023
Ulysses (1934: Random House) - enters public domain 1 January 2030 (*)
Finnegans Wake (1939) - enters public domain 1 January 2035
Stephen Hero (1944) - enters public domain 1 January 2040 (**)
Letters I (1957) - enters public domain 1 January 2053
Critical Writings (1959) - enters public domain 1 January 2055
Ulysses (1961: Random House) - enters public domain 1 January 2057 (*)
"The Cat and the Devil" (1964) - enters public domain 1 January 2060
Letters II and III (1966) - enters public domain 1 January 2062
Giacomo Joyce (1968) - enters public domain 1 January 2064
Joyce's "Ulysses:" Notesheets in the British Museum (1972) - enters public domain 1 January 2068
Selected Letters (1975) - enters public domain 1 January 2071
The James Joyce Archive (through 1977) - enters public domain 1 January 2073

(*) Over the years, questions have been raised as to whether, or to what extent, the 1934 and 1961 Random House editions of Ulysses enjoy copyright protection in the United States. While this FAQ takes no position on the issue, the expiration dates above are offered with this qualification in mind.

(**) The 2040 date applies to the parts of Stephen Hero that were published in 1944. The small sections that were added for the first time in 1955 and 1963 will likely enjoy copyright protection until 1 January 2051 and 1 January 2059, respectively.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Why not celebrate what actually has entered the public domain, rather than what might have happened in a fantasy world?

Those of us in life+70 countries now have James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. That's surely worth celebrating.
Why not do both?
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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Let's face it, anything that appeared at the time of the Mouse or after will never, ever go into public domain, at least not in the US. Ultimately, I don't really care if a work is in public domain or not, as long as it's available at a reasonable price and in a format that I can use. My issue is more orphaned works and works no longer available to the public because the copyright owner is indifferent.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Those of us in life+70 countries now have James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. That's surely worth celebrating.
If you happen to like those authors; and I don't.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:38 PM   #9
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My issue is more orphaned works and works no longer available to the public because the copyright owner is indifferent.
Why do you see that as a problem? Authors have no moral obligation to make their works available to the public.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:36 PM   #10
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Why do you see that as a problem? Authors have no moral obligation to make their works available to the public.
I believe pwalker8's talking about authors that have made their works available to the public. But now they're dead and the books are out of print and no one's made an ebook. And situations where the copyright holder has either forgotten all about it or just doesn't care any more
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I believe pwalker8's talking about authors that have made their works available to the public. But now they're dead and the books are out of print and no one's made an ebook. And situations where the copyright holder has either forgotten all about it or just doesn't care any more
Even then, it's up to the copyright holder to make it available. If they choose to sit on it, then it's lost; and should remain so.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I believe pwalker8's talking about authors that have made their works available to the public. But now they're dead and the books are out of print and no one's made an ebook. And situations where the copyright holder has either forgotten all about it or just doesn't care any more
So it is up to those that do care to write to the copyright holders and offer to do the work for them, to turn those books into e-books. The only issue will be that the copyright holders see no market at a reasonable price. (as you can see in this forum most people expect such titles to sell for $3-4. If there is no cost involved they might well reconsider.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:35 AM   #13
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(as you can see in this forum most people expect such titles to sell for $3-4. If there is no cost involved they might well reconsider.
For the obvious reason that there are no physical manufacturing costs and "shipping" amounts to a penny a megabyte (and that's being generous by rounding up!).** We therefore expect it to cost less than the $8.99-$10.99 the equivalent mass market paperback for back catalogue books. $2 lower than the paperback price would satisfy most, I think, and still give the publishers the same amount of profit as they would get off of the paperback version, even after they paid for their DRM.

** Editing and preparation, converting to the various ebook formats they wish to support and to the format their printers would need, would cost exactly the same.

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Old 01-03-2012, 10:07 AM   #14
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It's a real loss to culture for copyright owners to sit on works until they are lost forever, and this is a bigger issue the longer the copyright period is. Once a copyright expires, people can take the original work and remake it, rerelease it or transform it as they see fit, preserving the work and creating new and interesting works based on the source material.

Here's a somewhat ironic example, the following Disney characters and works were based on public domain source material:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Sleeping Beauty
Alice in Wonderland
The Little Mermaid
Beauty and the Beast
Pinocchio
Robin Hood
Peter Pan
Winnie the Pooh
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Tarzan
The Prince and the Pauper
Cinderella
Mulan
The Jungle Book
Aladdin
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:14 AM   #15
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Here's a somewhat ironic example, the following Disney characters and works were based on public domain source material:
Those works are still available for others to modify as they see fit. Society has no right to the Disney stuff unless Disney says so.
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