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RE: David Bratman replying to Lynn Maudlin

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  • Joe R. Christopher
    ... Not in the U.S., Lynn. Copyright law was changed again before those expired, and nothing published after 1923, I think the date is, has gone out of
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 17, 2008
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      Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:

      >David, do you know what copyright law was in force in Williams'
      >lifetime? Because the "life of the author plus 50 years" which was in
      >place in Europe in the mid-late 20th century would have his published
      >works in public domain...

      Not in the U.S., Lynn. Copyright law was changed again before those
      expired, and nothing published after 1923, I think the date is, has gone
      out of copyright in the U.S. (except for a few items which hadn't gotten
      a proper renewal when their original short-term copyright had expired).
      And I believe U.K. and European copyright matched this - one of the
      movements of recent decades has been to standardize this across
      countries.
      <from the earlier piece linked to above>

      David--

      It's got to be more complicated than your parenthesis suggests, for the
      copyright on _The Screwtape Letters_ was not renewed in the U.S. by
      Macmillan (the company's error), and a flurry of editions appeared; but
      when the U.S. copyright extension passed, the copyright on _The
      Screwtape Letters_ was somehow recaptured. I published a note listing
      the editions that appeared in the interim in _The Lewis Legacy_ a while
      back. It was Doug Gresham, in an email, who told me that it was
      Macmillan's fault for not renewing the copyright.

      --Joe
    • John D Rateliff
      ... I was not aware the copyright on SCREWTAPE had temporarily lapsed, or at least been in abeyance for a time. My guess would be it s benefited from the
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 17, 2008
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        On Feb 17, 2008, at 12:07 PM, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
        > It's got to be more complicated than your parenthesis suggests, for
        > the
        > copyright on _The Screwtape Letters_ was not renewed in the U.S. by
        > Macmillan (the company's error), and a flurry of editions appeared;
        > but
        > when the U.S. copyright extension passed, the copyright on _The
        > Screwtape Letters_ was somehow recaptured. I published a note listing
        > the editions that appeared in the interim in _The Lewis Legacy_ a
        > while
        > back. It was Doug Gresham, in an email, who told me that it was
        > Macmillan's fault for not renewing the copyright.

        I was not aware the copyright on SCREWTAPE had temporarily lapsed, or
        at least been in abeyance for a time.
        My guess would be it's benefited from the sea-change brought
        about by the post-1992 thinking regarding copyright law. By and
        large, before that point the burden of proof seems to have fallen on
        the person defending the copyright; since then, it seems to be on the
        other side.
      • Lynn Maudlin
        About U.S. copyright law (as a songwriter since I was 12 years old, first formally copyrighting a song before 1970, I ve paid some attention to the law as it
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 18, 2008
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          About U.S. copyright law (as a songwriter since I was 12 years old,
          first formally copyrighting a song before 1970, I've paid some
          attention to the law as it applies to me and thus have a general sense
          of the changes made and the differences between U.S. copyright law and
          Berne Convention) - there was indeed a time when an item published
          WITHOUT proper copyright notices immediately became public domain
          (that might have, in fact, been part of Wollheim's argument - and that
          was part of U.S. copyright law until 1978, IIRC). One was allowed a
          copyright of 28 years and could renew for a second term of 28 years
          (so after 56 years, poof, public domain - unless the copyright was
          renewed under another name/entity, in which case it would extend it
          for another 28 years, and then arguably one could create yet another
          name under which to renew copyright). There were a flurry of lawsuits
          regarding Disney characters as the law changed to author's life plus
          (at least) 50 years (now +70); it's a very complex field.

          U.S. copyright became (more) consistent with the Berne Conventions in
          1989. There are fundamental differences in approach (right to
          reproduce versus right of the author/creator is a biggie).

          So, in fact, *lots* of things have fallen out of copyright in the 20th
          century, and most of them we've never heard of or cared about, but Joe
          rightly points out Screwtape Letters - what I *don't* know is how they
          got it back into copyrighted status - or are they blustering?

          Summary of the Berne Convention:
          <http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/summary_berne.html>
          Wikipedia's page on U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 (effective 1978)
          <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Act_of_1976>

          -- Lynn --


          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Joe R. Christopher"
          <jchristopher@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Lynn Maudlin <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:
          >
          > >David, do you know what copyright law was in force in Williams'
          > >lifetime? Because the "life of the author plus 50 years" which was in
          > >place in Europe in the mid-late 20th century would have his published
          > >works in public domain...
          >
          > Not in the U.S., Lynn. Copyright law was changed again before those
          > expired, and nothing published after 1923, I think the date is, has gone
          > out of copyright in the U.S. (except for a few items which hadn't gotten
          > a proper renewal when their original short-term copyright had expired).
          > And I believe U.K. and European copyright matched this - one of the
          > movements of recent decades has been to standardize this across
          > countries.
          > <from the earlier piece linked to above>
          >
          > David--
          >
          > It's got to be more complicated than your parenthesis suggests, for the
          > copyright on _The Screwtape Letters_ was not renewed in the U.S. by
          > Macmillan (the company's error), and a flurry of editions appeared; but
          > when the U.S. copyright extension passed, the copyright on _The
          > Screwtape Letters_ was somehow recaptured. I published a note listing
          > the editions that appeared in the interim in _The Lewis Legacy_ a while
          > back. It was Doug Gresham, in an email, who told me that it was
          > Macmillan's fault for not renewing the copyright.
          >
          > --Joe
          >
        • William Cloud Hicklin
          ... Maudlin wrote: but Joe ... *don t* know is how they ... they blustering? ... If Screwtape fell out of copyright in the US before 1978,
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 21, 2008
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            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Lynn
            Maudlin" <lynnmaudlin@...> wrote:
            but Joe
            > rightly points out Screwtape Letters - what I
            *don't* know is how they
            > got it back into copyrighted status - or are
            they blustering?
            >


            If Screwtape fell out of copyright in the US before 1978,
            no ensuing change in copyright law would revive it. If I
            had to take a stab I would guess that Screwtape is
            protected in the US now because since it's a British work,
            the US is obligated under the Berne Convention to enforce
            the UK copyright.
          • Lynn Maudlin
            Ah, that makes sense, we re upholding Berne... thanks! -- Lynn --
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 21, 2008
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              Ah, that makes sense, we're upholding Berne... thanks!
              -- Lynn --

              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Lynn
              > Maudlin" <lynnmaudlin@> wrote:
              > but Joe
              > > rightly points out Screwtape Letters - what I
              > *don't* know is how they
              > > got it back into copyrighted status - or are
              > they blustering?
              > >
              >
              >
              > If Screwtape fell out of copyright in the US before 1978,
              > no ensuing change in copyright law would revive it. If I
              > had to take a stab I would guess that Screwtape is
              > protected in the US now because since it's a British work,
              > the US is obligated under the Berne Convention to enforce
              > the UK copyright.
              >
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