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US Waiting For Godot On Public Domain Day

Submitted by Bernardo Parrella on Thu, 06/01/2011 - 01:29

"Once again, absolutely nothing enters the Public Domain this year". [04jan11]

An article by Mike Masnick on TechDirt.com explains why, contrary to most other countries worldwide, no work of long-deceased authors and artists enters the Public Domain in the USA.

"...Not a single work entered the public domain in the US on January 1st, thanks (yet again) to constant copyright extensions, which include retroactive extensions. Retroactive extensions, of course, make absolutely no sense. If the point of copyright is to act as incentive for the creation of new works, that incentive obviously worked in getting those works created. To then retroactively extend the copyright is to, quite blatantly, go back on the deal, and take away the rights of the public with no recourse or compensation.

[...]

Copyright defenders love to claim that infringement is a form of "theft." Yet, they never seem troubled by the idea that copyright extensions like this have clearly taken away the public's clearly stated rights to make use of these works under the deal that was made with those content creators at the time those works were officially published. It seems to me that taking away such rights from the public is significantly more troubling than someone downloading a song they never would have paid for in the first place."

Interesting enough, so far the article has received more than 120 comments.

Read full article on TechDirt.com.

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