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Public Domain Day 2014 225

Posted by timothy
from the or-not-so-much dept.
An anonymous reader writes "What could have been entering the public domain in the US on January 1, 2014? Under the law that existed until 1978.... Works from 1957. The books On The Road, Atlas Shrugged, Empire of the Atom, and The Cat in the Hat, the films The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and 12 Angry Men, the article "Theory of Superconductivity," the songs "All Shook Up" and "Great Balls of Fire," and more.... What is entering the public domain this January 1? Not a single published work."
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Public Domain Day 2014

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  • Sherlock Holmes (Score:5, Informative)

    by innocent_white_lamb (151825) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @12:58PM (#45830131)

    Actually, Sherlock Holmes is finally in the public domain. It took a court order to shake it loose, though.

    http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-new-sherlock-holmes-copyright-20131230,0,5610784.story [latimes.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @01:16PM (#45830317)

    Thanks to Disney and others, the very idea of works EVER entering the public domain will eventually become a relic.

    Mostly it goes to demonstrate that those who keep talking about 'free markets' are full of shit.

    There never has been, and never will be what people call a free market.

    It's a lie and a myth. The companies and lawmakers will always find ways to stack the game in their favor.

    Kill the rich. They're all just crooks anyway.

  • Re:Would it matter? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @01:17PM (#45830335)

    I don't think that this is correct. I definitely couldn't find anything out there about it happening in the US. EU it seems this is the case though.

    And every so often there's something that slips through the cracks. It's not often, but it happens sometimes (the one I always remember is "Charade" (1963) which entered the public domain because Universal messed up their copyright notice for the film).

  • Re:So? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @01:25PM (#45830439) Journal

    sibling is right... if it's so crappy, then why the need to rent-seek on them? Consider that the majority of the works' creators are dead by now (it's been 56 some-odd years), so it's not like they're directly benefiting from copyright. So who is benefiting? The kids, the corporations, and a whole lot of other people who did approximately bupkis to create these works.

    Copyright is about a temporary monopoly on a creative work. It is emphatically not meant to be a perpetual money machine.

  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @01:34PM (#45830517)

    I don't know who the fuck modded this down (Disney fan maybe??), but I'm dead serious. Back in the day, I used to teach my students the in-and-outs of copyright law (75 years plus, or whatever the hell the law happened to be at any given time). But since the 90's, I just tell them that anything that anything published from 1923 onwards will always be under copyright.

  • Re:It's for the best (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @01:36PM (#45830549)

    Please take your Socialist bullshit somewhere else. Without Atlas Shrugged, we would not have nearly the same amount of stiff resistance to the current administrations redistributionist anti-business agenda.

    Please take your Capitalist bullshit and go elsewhere.

    Just because people believe in Ayn Rand doesn't make what she said true. Much like disbelieving in evolution doesn't make it not true.

    Ayn Rand was full of shit, and is uncritically followed by drooling idiots who worship it as if it were holy writ -- and they treat it as dogma and defend it with as much irrational zeal as people do when you tell them their god is false.

    Adherents of Ayn Rand are essentially economic terrorists who would destroy the world around them so their utopian fantasy would arise. In that regards, there's no difference between them and the most viscious of Communists.

    Fuck Ayn Rand and her followers -- because they're all just drooling idiots who have found a different sort of religion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @01:39PM (#45830579)

    Actually there are plenty of works being lost every day that no one has access to as a result of over extension of copyright. Relatively obscure works from prior to the 1920s are plentiful because they are in the public domain and are freely available. Works that are still covered by copyright are difficult to find even if you're willing to pay for them.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/the-missing-20th-century-how-copyright-protection-makes-books-vanish/255282/

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @01:43PM (#45830623) Homepage

    And the real irony is that Disney built its animated empire on stories in the public domain:
    - Snow White? Grimm's Fairy Tales.
    - Pinocchio? Carlo Collodi, 1880.
    - Fantasia? Classical music from the public domain. The highlight, the Sorcerer's Apprentice, is from Goethe in 1798.
    - Bambi? Nope, they stole that one too, from a 1923 work of Felix Salten
    - Cinderella? That was written about 1700.
    - Alice in Wonderland? Lewis Carroll, of course.

    Basically, if it's a "Disney princess", they almost definitely stole the character from somewhere else.

  • by maverickgunn (3480787) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @01:57PM (#45830741)

    And this still works perfectly well today, thank you very much.

    Perfectly well? Really? Do you realize how many works are completely lost, from film, to music, to software to any other creative field simply because they never entered the public domain and copyright holders either disappeared or held them tightly in their grasp? On top of that, you have corporations like Disney whose entire existence was built on the works of others now abusing that same privilege to deprive future generations of their own creativity.

    I wouldn't call either of those things "perfectly well".

    Defending property rights of the citizenry is among the top tasks of any government.

    Intellectual property is only "property" because the government, our government, labeled it as such. It shares little in common with actual property: it's not tangible, it doesn't degrade and it's not limited in quantity or duplication. Were it not for the public invention of protecting it, it would have no inherent protections. So if we receive no public benefit, why should we spend public resources defending it for them?

    Are you "deprived" of food, because you have to pay for it?

    Of course you are. That's an obvious statement. But it's an entirely different situation because food is a tangible product limited in quality and quantity. It has inherent protections intellectual property does not so comparing the two is asinine.

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