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Re: [dvd-discuss] Inspiration or infringement

On Fri, Dec 28, 2001, 4:14 AM, Tom <tom@lemuria.org> wrote:
> could you elaborate on how you get to these specific dates?

In the U.S. Renewed copyrights in works published
in 1907 and  subsequent years were extended by a series
of  acts beginning in 1962.  The final extension
of these copyrights was part of the act of 1976, which
went into effect in 1978.  This extended the renewal term
of all pre-1978 copyrights to 47 years, making a
total copyright duration of 28+47-->75 years.  Hence
a work which was published in 1907 and with
proper notice of copyright and which had its
copyright timely renewed was subject to a 75-year
copyright which expired at the midnight between
December 31, 1982 and January 1st, 1983.

I'm not certain about the year 1906.  Some or
all of its copyrights might have been extended by
the act of 1962, but without seeing the wording
I can't be sure.  Copyrights from 1905 expired
prior to the extensions of the 1960s and 1970s.
Any copyright from 1906 which had its renewal
term extended would have expired at the midnight
between December 31st, 1981 and January 1st, 1982.

Each year after 1983, another year's worth of
renewed copyrights expired:

1908 renewed copyrights expired on January 1st, 1984
(i.e., at midnight between Dec. 31 1983 and Jan. 1, 1984)
1909 in 1985
1910 in 1986
1911 in 1987
1912 in 1988
1913 in 1989
1914 in 1990
1915 in 1991
1916 in 1992
1917 in 1993
1918 in 1994
1919 in 1995
1920 in 1996
1921 in 1997
1922 in 1998

In 1998 President Clinton signed the Copyright Term
Extension Act.  Its extension provisons went into
effect immediately, so renewed copyrights from the
year 1923 are extended until 95 years from 1923,
plus the balance of the year. If they are not extended
again, they will expire on January 1st, 2019.

The 1976 Act also replaced the old common-law
right-of-first-publication of unpublishde works
with a statutory copyright.  For some very old,
never-published works, this replacement-copyright
will expire on January 1st, 2003.

My earlier remarks about the public domain being
utterly choked off until 2003 must be qualified
by the exception of U.S. Government works.

Keep in mind, however, that I am not a lawyer, and
as always on lists of this kind, nothing in this
post constitutes legal advice, nothing in this post
establishes a lawyer-client relationship, etc. etc.