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Viewing topic "Copyright question"

Posted on: February 15, 2009 @ 08:08 PM
Total Posts:  1823
Joined  08-05-2007
status: Guru

Hi everyone.  It’s been a while.  I have a question about US copyright law.  I need to know how long after a composer’s death it is before a composition’s copyright expires.  I know that it used to be 56 years, but I’ve heard that the law may have been changed.  Does anyone here know?

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: February 16, 2009 @ 12:41 PM
Total Posts:  36648
Joined  07-30-2002
status: Moderator

For a published work created after 1978 it is the life of the composer plus 70 years…

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: February 16, 2009 @ 03:54 PM
Total Posts:  2027
Joined  08-14-2005
status: Guru

From Circular 15a:

Works originally copyrighted before 1950 and renewed before 1978: These works have automatically been given a longer copyright term. Copyrights that had already been renewed and were in their second term at any time between December 31, 1976, and December 31, 1977, inclusive, do not need to be renewed again. They have been automatically extended to last for a total term of 95 years (a first term of 28 years plus a renewal term of 67 years) from the end of the year in which they were originally secured. NOTE: This extension applies not only to copyrights less than 56 years old but also to older copyrights that had previously been extended in duration under a series of Congressional enactments beginning in 1962. As in the case of all other copyrights subsisting in their second term between December 31, 1976, and December 31, 1977, inclusive, these copyrights will expire at the end of the calendar year in which the 95th anniversary of the original date of copyright occurs.

A special transitional situation arose with respect to first-term copyrights that were originally secured in 1950 and that became eligible for renewal during the calendar year 1977. If renewal registration was made before January 1, 1978, the duration of the copyright was extended to the full period of 75 years without the need for further renewal. However, even if renewal registration was not made before January 1, 1978, renewal for the second 47-year term could be made under the 1976 law at any time between January 1, 1978, and December 31, 1978.

Works originally copyrighted between January 1, 1950, and December 31, 1963: Copyrights in their first 28-year term on January 1, 1978, still had to be renewed in order to be protected for the second term. If a valid renewal registration was made at the proper time, the second term will last for 67 years. However, if renewal registration for these works was not made within the statutory time limits, a copyright originally secured between 1950 and 1963 expired on December 31st of its 28th year, and protection was lost permanently.

Works originally copyrighted between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977: The amendment to the copyright law enacted June 26, 1992, makes renewal registration optional. The copyright is still divided between a 28-year original term and a 67-year renewal term, but a renewal registration is not required to secure the renewal copyright. The renewal vests on behalf of the appropriate renewal claimant upon registration or, if there is no renewal registration, on December 31 of the 28th year.

  [ Ignore ]  


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