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Old 01-04-2021, 08:29 AM   #1
DrNefario
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Life +70 Public Domain titles added Jan 1st 2021

Everyone seems to be banging on about The Great Gatsby, which has gone PD in the US, but seems to have been out of copyright in most of the rest of the world for 10 years already.

Anyway, I thought I'd note some of the more significant authors who died in 1950 and have therefore just come into the public domain. These are the ones I have noticed:

George Orwell - 1984, Animal Farm, etc

George Bernard Shaw - Pygmalion, Man and Superman, etc

Edgar Rice Burroughs - Tarzan, Barsoom, etc

Rafael Sabatini - Scaramouche, Captain Blood, etc

Olaf Stapledon - Last and First Men, Star Maker, etc


(Some of their works would already have been PD in the US.)
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Old 01-04-2021, 09:11 AM   #2
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Yes, the US does have a more complex copyright situation. For works prior to 1978, it's tied to the date of publication, not the author's death. Since it's 95 years after publication, works that are in PD in the rest of the world may not be in PD in the US.
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Old 01-04-2021, 09:23 AM   #3
Quoth
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A US cultural land grab enabled by millions of US$ spent by large US Corporations like Disney, to allegedly protect their assets. Like Steamboat Willy / Mickey Mouse.

Yet much of their success was built on adapting Public Domain texts. It's not about compensation for creators or their estates. It's Corporate greed and results in making much cultural heritage inaccessible as the large corporation with the rights hasn't the incentive to publish.

Even life plus 50 years was overgenerous. An author or publisher that disagrees can at least add a Copyright qualification: This work becomes Public Domain <x> years after the Author's death.

I think <x> should be from 20 to 50. No less or more. The 70 and 95 are obscene.
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Old 01-05-2021, 01:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
A US cultural land grab enabled by millions of US$ spent by large US Corporations like Disney, to allegedly protect their assets. Like Steamboat Willy / Mickey Mouse.

Yet much of their success was built on adapting Public Domain texts. It's not about compensation for creators or their estates. It's Corporate greed and results in making much cultural heritage inaccessible as the large corporation with the rights hasn't the incentive to publish.

Even life plus 50 years was overgenerous. An author or publisher that disagrees can at least add a Copyright qualification: This work becomes Public Domain <x> years after the Author's death.

I think <x> should be from 20 to 50. No less or more. The 70 and 95 are obscene.
Yes, we all know that the major driving forces behind the move of the US to longer copyright was Disney, though I will point out that what the US did actually was join the Berne Convention. That means that US copyrights are protected all over the world, something that became increasingly important in the movie industry once US movies started to gain traction in the rest of the world back in the 70's. Now many US movies get the majority of their ticket sales overseas, so it's not just the Mouse. Music sales also was a big driver. Book sales? Not so much.

I suspect that of the Berne convention didn't have such an obscenely long copyright length, most companies would be happy with the length of copyright from pre-1978 in the US. It's a pretty rare movie that is still generating significant revenue 56 years later, though the overall worth of the various film libraries and their significance for streaming services is a different question.

Protection of Micky Mouse isn't copyright law.
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Old 01-05-2021, 01:59 PM   #5
Quoth
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Micky Mouse himself is a trademarked logo.

But the names of the Seven Dwarves?
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Old 01-05-2021, 03:19 PM   #6
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