On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 9:22 AM, Ryan Kaldari <rkaldari(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
I don't see anything in the TPP requiring
retroactive application of
copyright terms. We'll have to wait and see how the various countries
choose to apply the new terms. Applying terms retroactively is uncommon,
but possible. We also have no idea when these countries are actually going
to apply the new terms.
I don't think it's uncommon, the US is the odd one out on this (or almost
out, since in the end it did apply Berne terms retroactively). For example
the EU Copyright Directive prescribes a death + 70 copyright term so
countries joining the EU restore copyright to all works for which they had
shorter protection. International copyright treaties tend to be retroactive
by default; "works shall be protected for X years after the death of the
author" applies to all works, whether they are in the public domain
currently or not.
From the regulator's point of view this is
reasonable; the point of these
treaties is harmonization of the law, and harmonizing
the protection term
of one group of works but leaving another group protected in some countries
and unprotected in others doesn't really make sense. The alternative would
be a rule of the shorter term, but the US does not have that, and they are
the driving force behind TPP, so...