Works that would be in the public domain today -- if America hadn't extended copyright terms in 1976


12 Responses to “Works that would be in the public domain today -- if America hadn't extended copyright terms in 1976”

  1. fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

    Break out your Ouija boards, folks, there’re a lot of dead content creators who I’ve been assured by 100% trustworthy lobbyists are mighty incentivized to produce new and exciting work thanks to their extended copyright terms. Somebody had better get ready to channel it for them…

  2. beenlost says:

    Odd isn’t it that something like Velcro®’s patent has run out, but its name is protected for quite a while yet.

    • ldobe says:

      Velcro(r) is a trademark. It lasts forever as long as it’s used to refer to a specific brand of hook-and-loop fastener. It has absolutely nothing to do with copyright and the public domain.

      • beenlost says:

        Renewing your trademark registration (also called a “Section 9″ filing) is required by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for trademark owners to maintain their trademark rights. If your trademark has been registered for 9 years, it’s time to file a renewal—you have one year following that 9-year anniversary to renew. Following your first renewal, renewals are required every 10 years. All renewals, should be filed as Combined Section 8 Declaration/Section 9 Renewal. If no renewal is filed, registration will be lost.Trademark’s that are not renewed become public domain. I’ve also heard of cases where trademark’s have been lost or technically lost due the the owner not protecting it or through the trademark becoming so ubiquitous that it can’t be protected – Thermos and Kleenex have had run in’s this way.

        • ldobe says:

          True, what I was getting at is the fact that trademark and copyright are different. If you’re punctual and a branding a-hole who sues whenever your trademark is misused, you can keep your trademark indefinitely long, and that really isn’t a bad thing as long as trademark remains a consumer protection tool.

          • beenlost says:

            Agreed. But there is still a problem with trademarks – they can be bought and applied to inferior products. Read a bunch about Pyrex® in particular and several other companies that were sold and then the quality went to hell – usually because it was outsourced a short time later.

          • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

            I suspect that it would be deeply impractical; but it would be rather interesting if trademarks that were established to connote certain things were required to continue to do so, even against the owner’s wishes…

            At present, the customer-protection aspect prevents any non-owner from using the trademark in a deceptive manner; but it doesn’t place any restrictions on the owner(aside from their desire not to sully it, and any incidentally applicable consumer protection/warranty regulations).

            Imagine, hypothetically, if it were the case that establishing ‘Pyrex(r) brand thermal-shock resistant borosilicate glassware’ made attaching the ‘Pyrex’ name to some other article, even if you were the owner of the trademark, a deceptive act…

          • ldobe says:

            Yeah, but can’t that also count as brand dilution in a sense? If you license your trademark to every Tom, Dick and Harry, doesn’t your mark stand a chance of becoming too ubiquitous as well?

  3. voiceinthedistance says:

    I smell a rat. Thanks, MM.

  4. John Smith says:

    Is God still collecting royalties the Ten Commandments?

  5. I think we should go back to the Edict of Anne, the English copyright law the original US laws were based on. You get 28 years. That’s a long time. If you’re gonna be broke after that 28 years is up, your lazy ass should have done something else in that 28 years you had. 

  6. RobertG says:

    So what if these titles had gone public? What am I missing?

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