On 04/02/06, Matt Brown <morven(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On 2/4/06, Michael Snow
Less than that, or slightly more depending on how
you look at it. It was
originally 14 years from the time of publication, with a one-time right
of renewal for an additional 14.
I always think it's a shame the renewal requirement was dropped in
copyright law. It ensured that stuff that nobody cared about enough
anymore fell into the public domain quicker. I guess it did make
things a lot more complicated, though.
It did, however, mean that even stuff which people did care about
slipped through the net, often through no fault of the copyright
You may remember, back in summer 2004, a popular flash cartoon which
parodied "This Land Is Your Land". The copyright owners demanded it be
pulled, on the grounds that it was first copyrighted in 1956 and
renewed in 1984. The legal wrangling which ensued then ran across a
copy of it from 1945 (it was first written in 1940) with a copyright
notice on the end... meaning that the copyright actually expired in
1973, and wasn't renewed. Ooops.
(Personally, I'm happy it's in the public domain - it's what the
author probably wanted! - but it does serve as a good example...)
- Andrew Gray