Skip to comments.[...]Court Says It's Okay To Remove Content From The Public Domain And Put It Back Under Copyright
Posted on 06/22/2010 12:14:39 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
Warning: this one is depressing if you believe in the public domain. You may recall that last year, a district court made a very important ruling on what appeared to be a minor part of copyright law. The "Golan" case asked a simple question: once something is officially in the public domain, can Congress pull it out and put it back under copyright? The situation came about because of (yet another) trade agreement that pulled certain foreign works out of the public domain. A district court had initially said that this move did not violate the law, but the appeals court sent it back, saying that the lower court had not analyzed the First Amendment issue, and whether this was a case where the inherent conflict between the First Amendment and copyright law went too far to the side of copyright by violating the "traditional contours of copyright law." Getting a second crack at this, the district court got it right -- and was the first court to point out that massively expanded copyright law can, in fact, violate the First Amendment.
(Excerpt) Read more at techdirt.com ...
Copyright was never meant to last forever..............
When copyright laws make no sense, people (me) will start to ignore them.
It’s already happened before.
It’s A Wonderful Life was public domain and went back under copyright. And not just the “colorized” version.
And yes, copyright was NEVER supposed to be eternal.
Our nation’s 20th century cultural tradition is pwned by Big Media’s monopoly. They stay in business with contemporary box office product targeted to insult this nation and the pre-1968 Establishment. How many antiwar films did they make while Bush was President? How many weren’t box office flops? Hollywood will tank a film in production out of spite. They will write a protected star/director’s losses against a smaller film’s budget expenses.
If they didn’t have 70+ years of product to market and merchandise, they would be more accountable to their box office receipts of today.
They’ve extended the terms of copyright numerous times over those 70 years too. The public never approved of these “renegotiations”.
Hollywood owns the US legislature.
Well, there goes my free online bible reading every day.
It’s A Wonderful Life is still technically in public domain as its copyright expired. The problem is that to make the movie they had to buy film rights for a story called The Greatest Gift, which is still in copyright. That makes the story of It’s A Wonderful Life in part a derivative work.
Normally the copyright of the source would expire before the derivative work, making this not a problem. But IAWL is only in public domain because the studio forgot to renew copyright on it, but the author of the original story did renew his copyright.
I still wish you had to renew copyrights.
I thought IAWL was a bit of a boxoffice dud and that it was allowed to lapse into public domain, and then it found a “cult” life in perpetual television broadcasts because it was in the public domain (so every channel programmed it in the Christmas season since it was a “freebie”).
Apparently the owner of the underlying copyright just didn’t feel like enforcing it for a period. And unlike trademark, you can’t lose copyright due to non-enforcement — it’s yours until you transfer it or until it expires. Of course these days, expiration will be about a microsecond before the heat death of the universe, qualifying for the “limited times” definition the Supreme Court agrees with.
IMO, the interweb thingy is going to moot most copyright as we have traditionally known it. There’s just too many holes to plug up.
They tried and tried with music last decade - Napster, etc. Any sixth grader can today find any song ever recorded and download it within 30 seconds. Movies are almost to that point.
Yep, that’s the amazing thing. Everything of any value is available online or will soon be available online to people interested in downloading it.
When boiled down, information of any type - news, music, video, print, pictures, whatever - has no value unless you can control when/how it is distributed. That’s how the publishers and networks made money prior to the internet age.
That’s all gone now.
I hearily recommend Project Gutenberg Austrailia for many titles, appropriately enough, George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm among them, that are in the public domain there, but not in this once free land.