Saturday, December 26, 2009
A SHORT HISTORY OF THE MANIPULATION OF COPYRIGHT LAW
Slashdot - It's nearly the end of 2009. If the 1790 copyright maximum term of 28 years was still in effect, everything that had been published by 1981 would be now be in the public domain - so the original Ultima and God Emperor of Dune and would be available for remixing and mashing up. If the 1909 copyright maximum term of 56 years (if renewed) were still in force, everything published by 1953 would now be in the public domain, freeing The City and the Stars and Forbidden Planet. If the 1976 copyright act term of 75 years (it's complicated) still applied, everything published by 1934 would now be in the public domain, including Murder on the Orient Express. But thanks to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, nothing in the US will go free until 2018, when 1923 works expire." Assuming Congress doesn't step in with a Copyright Extension Act of 2017.