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Old 04-30-2018, 10:17 AM   #1
drjenkins
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The Great American Novel enters the public domain on January 1, 2019

A Landslide of Classic Art Is About to Enter the Public Domain
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The Great American Novel enters the public domain on January 1, 2019—quite literally. Not the concept, but the book by William Carlos Williams. It will be joined by hundreds of thousands of other books, musical scores, and films first published in the United States during 1923. It’s the first time since 1998 for a mass shift to the public domain of material protected under copyright. It’s also the beginning of a new annual tradition: For several decades from 2019 onward, each New Year’s Day will unleash a full year’s worth of works published 95 years earlier.
Do you expect this to actually happen? I'm still waiting for Big Copyright (Disney, Sony, etc.) to jump in once again and preempt the natural order of public domain in the United States. All the article says about this is:

Quote:
It’s possible this could all change again as corporate copyright holders start to get itchy about expirations. However, the United States is now in harmony with most of the rest of the world, and no legislative action is underway this year to make any waves that would affect the 2019 rollover.
Has anyone seen any reaction from corporate lawyers on this?
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by drjenkins View Post
A Landslide of Classic Art Is About to Enter the Public Domain


Do you expect this to actually happen? I'm still waiting for Big Copyright (Disney, Sony, etc.) to jump in once again and preempt the natural order of public domain in the United States. All the article says about this is:


Has anyone seen any reaction from corporate lawyers on this?
I read this and was thinking 'Moby Dick has long been in the public domain...'

Last edited by ZodWallop; 04-30-2018 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:56 AM   #3
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I must admit I'm a little surprised that no-one's pushed for works that are currently in copyright in the US to gain a copyright that's the maximum of copyright length under old rules, and life+70.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:29 PM   #4
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I think that the copyright battle is being fought more over movie and music copyright than over book copyright. Steamboat Willie came out in 1928, so we still have a few years before Disney gets worried.

From a movie, music point of view, I don't think we will see any big movement until the movies from the mid to late 30's come up (especially 1939). From a book point of view, I'm trying to think of a book that is worth enough money to fight over. The Hobbit came out in 1937. Maybe Gone With the Wind or some of the Agatha Christie books.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:49 PM   #5
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Steamboat Willie came out in 1928, so we still have a few years before Disney gets worried.
By 2024 we should see this window of opportunity close again as Disney "protects" the Mouse.
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
I think that the copyright battle is being fought more over movie and music copyright than over book copyright. Steamboat Willie came out in 1928, so we still have a few years before Disney gets worried.

From a movie, music point of view, I don't think we will see any big movement until the movies from the mid to late 30's come up (especially 1939). From a book point of view, I'm trying to think of a book that is worth enough money to fight over. The Hobbit came out in 1937. Maybe Gone With the Wind or some of the Agatha Christie books.
Action Comics #1 (1938) and Detective Comics #27 (1939) would qualify.
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Old 04-30-2018, 02:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
I think that the copyright battle is being fought more over movie and music copyright than over book copyright. Steamboat Willie came out in 1928, so we still have a few years before Disney gets worried.

From a movie, music point of view, I don't think we will see any big movement until the movies from the mid to late 30's come up (especially 1939). From a book point of view, I'm trying to think of a book that is worth enough money to fight over. The Hobbit came out in 1937. Maybe Gone With the Wind or some of the Agatha Christie books.
Movies that would become public domain next year:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1923_in_film
"The Ten Commandments" (the silent film) dir. Cecil B. DeMille
"Safety Last!" starring Harold Lloyd
"The Covered Wagon" (the first American epic not directed by D.W. Griffith)

Major Books that become public domain
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1923_in_literature )
"Cane" by Jean Toomer (I already see two pre-orders that come out in 2019 for that)
"The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran
"Murder on the Links" by Agatha Christie (the 2nd Hercule Poirot novel.) [Also several short Hercule Poirot stories may become public domain]
3 Georgette Heyer novels
The final Psmith book by P.G. Wodehouse & the 2nd Jeeves short story collection.
The original French text of Marcel Proust's The Prisoner (vol. 5 of In Search of Lost Time)
Two English language translations of novels credited to Jules Verne as translated by Cranstoun Metcalfe (1866-1939)
"New Hampshire" by Robert Frost (that is a big deal because Frost's estate strictly controls a certain popular poem in that https://www.mhpbooks.com/2019-will-b...public-domain/)

January 1, 2019 will be a big Public Domain Day if Congress leaves this alone. I remain cautiously optimistic that the public domain will start growing again and books from the beginning of the Coolidge Adminstration will finally be set free.
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Old 04-30-2018, 08:50 PM   #8
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I expect a rider to some important bill around midnight on the last day of the session this year. Probably by a voice vote. . .
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Old 05-01-2018, 02:10 AM   #9
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Do you expect this to actually happen? I'm still waiting for Big Copyright (Disney, Sony, etc.) to jump in once again and preempt the natural order of public domain in the United States. All the article says about this is:

Drat the Mouse and Goofy too.
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:11 AM   #10
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How is this putting the US "in harmony with the rest of the world" if they're not moving to life+70? What has 95 years got to do with anything? (Apart from being a panic reaction to the last time certain things were about to expire?)
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:58 AM   #11
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How is this putting the US "in harmony with the rest of the world" if they're not moving to life+70? What has 95 years got to do with anything? (Apart from being a panic reaction to the last time certain things were about to expire?)
It was done to block anything from going into the US public domain. You, see, life +70 is meaningless with flat rate override. The flat rate override was put in when the US went to Berne life + 50 (in 1978). When the copyright override started to expire in 1998, another 20 years were added to the override and life +50 went to life + 70 as justification.

(Note the move to life +70 in Europe was strongly lobbied by the the US copyright holders before the US extended the US copyright. Nothing in the 1909 Berne agreement requires life + 70. . . . )

Because of the flat rate override, only one year (1922, because the extension bill didn't get passed at the end of the year, and got passed early the next year) has gone into the public domain in 39 + years. . .

The Mouse House successfully lobbied twice already for extensions, I can't believe they are about to stop now . . .
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