Tag Archives: public domain

Yes, We Have No More Extensions! Copyrighted Works Age Into Public Domain for First Time in Twenty Years

While scholars and pundits are busy listing the most important copyright rulings of 2018, a development that arguably beats them all is about to occur just as 2018 turns into 2019. On January 1, 2019, copyrighted works will start to age into the public domain for the first time in twenty years, beginning with works published in 1923.

Why did we go twenty years without anything aging into the public domain?… More

Happy Birthday To Me: An Iconic Song Enters The Public Domain After Copyright Settlement

Birthday chocolate cake with burning candles as a number fifty on brown background

As I turn 50 years old this week, I can’t help but think of the famous Happy Birthday song and the class action that resulted in its entering the public domain earlier this year.  The class action plaintiffs in that case filed a declaratory judgment action in the Central District of California against two music companies that had been enforcing the copyright in Happy Birthday and requiring the payment of royalties in some circumstances where it had been used commercially,… More

Copyright At The Museum: Musings In Anticipation Of The IPO Dinner At The MoMA

As a fan of modern art, I am looking forward to the dinner reception at next week’s Annual Meeting of the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), which will be held at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.  As a member of IPO’s Copyright Committee, in anticipation of the dinner I have been musing about a fascinating and complicated question:  Can I take snapshots of the art while visiting the MoMA? … More

Copyright Strategies for Start-Up Companies

GyroAs a leader of a start-up company, you are probably aware of the importance of protecting your company’s innovative products, services and technologies through patent filings.  If you are savvy, you are also aware of the importance of having a trademark and branding strategy as well (see our guide entitled “Trademark Strategies for Start-Up Companies”).  Most start-up companies overlook copyright issues, however, and this can create problems down the road. … More

Millions of Foreign Works No Longer in the Public Domain: The Supreme Court Upholds 1994 Copyright Law

As the old adage goes, ask a simple question and you’ll get a simple answer. So one might think a question like “how long does a copyright last” would merit an equally concise answer like “the life of the author plus 70 years.” Of course, nothing in life is as simple as it seems and anyone even casually familiar with U.S. copyright law knows that how long a copyright lasts may depend on several factors such as when the work was written,… More