The Grinch Who Stole The Public Domain

Posted by BernardSwiss on Jan 3, 2014 5:30 PM EDT
Techdirt; By Mike Masnick
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As they do every year, unfortunately, the good folks at the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke have put together a depressing list of what should have entered the public domain yesterday. As you hopefully know, until 1978, the maximum amount of time that work in the US could be covered by copyright was 56 years (you initially received a 28 year copyright term, which could be renewed for another 28 years). That means, back in 1957, everyone who created the works in that list knew absolutely, and without a doubt that their works would be given back to the public to share, to perform, to build on and more... on January 1, 2014 at the very latest. And they all still created their works, making clear that the incentive of a 56 year monopoly was absolutely more than enough incentive to create.

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