Effect of Eldred ruling on public domain

Court Deaf to Public-Domain Pleas. The Supreme Court’s decisive ruling to uphold a law extending copyrights for 20 years will force public-domain advocates to compete ever more fiercely with the powerful entertainment lobby. Michael Grebb reports from Washington. [Wired News]

I have to keep bringing this up, because it’s important. In 1881, Carlo Lorenzini published The Adventures of Pinocchio. Pretend for a moment that current American copyright law applied, internationally, to work published in Italy. Pinocchio would be protected for the life of the author, plus 70 years. Lorenzini died 1890. Under current copyright law, Pinocchio would have entered the public domain in 1960.

The lovable puppet, however, was free of copyright restrictions in 1940, when Disney adapted the book into an animated film. Disney and other movie studios have tapped deep into the public-domain well for over a century. Now, they’ve won a battle to keep you and me from the doing the same.

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