Re: RARA-AVIS: Public Domain

Date: 05 Sep 2000

In a message dated 9/2/00 8:35:31 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> Depending on the year of death and the country, a writer's work won't be in
> the public domain until 50 or 75 years after death.

In the U.S. the copyright term is now life of the author plus 70 years, 95 years for works made for hire. However, that's a relatively recent change. For a long time the duration of copyright was 26 years, renewable for another 26. However if someone failed to renew for the second period, or their combined 52 years lapsed before the term was increased, the work would be in the public domain. If an author created a work under the old 26 + 26 rules and still held the copyright when thegeneral copyright duration was increased to the life-based criteria, they would get grandfathered in. But if their rights lapsed, they lapsed.

A lot of greatold Tin Pan Alley-type songs are about to enter the public domain, too.

Not sure on the specifics of Paul Cain's situation, though, based on the above criteria someone might be able to fill us in.

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