Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Copyright Duration

The duration of copyright is typically 70 years after the life of the author of the work. Given that the work was created by one author.There are always exceptions with this especially when it comes to corporate ownership. Corporations are able to keep the duration of copyright for 95 years after the publication date.

I once heard that Disney does a new release on old videos such as "The Little Mermaid" and then puts it back in the "vault" so to speak in order to keep the copyright on that material. The new release may be digitally enhanced or new material added to the old copy in order to make it new. Personally, I think that works like that that are obvious that Disney is the owner of the copyright should be able to keep that copyright till the end of the corporation. So in the case of Disney, all of their works would be copyright protected for 95 years after the business in no longer running.

10 comments:

Melissa D. said...

That's a very interesting point about Disney movies. I have a two year old daughter, so I know all about Disney Princesses! Even though I'm sure Disney makes plenty of money every time they re-release a movie or create a sequel, i agree that they shouldn't have to do it just to keep it under copyright.

Steph Herfel said...

You advocate here that Disney should have a forever copyright on its characters and movies. I think that Mickey Mouse,Donald Duck, etc. should be or are registered trademarks of Disney. Do you think that Disney should have a never-ending copyright on their works because they should receive all the profits from their creations possible, or do you feel that it is more important as a matter of principle that Disney receive credit for its wonderful creations? In our text, Copyright for Schools: A Practical Guide,4th ed., in Appendix B, Simpson cautions, "Don't copy cartoon or TV or film characters for decorations, bulletin boards, or handouts." I wonder if a teacher wrote to the Disney corporation and asked permission to put Mickey Mouse on his or her bulletin board if Disney would okay this or how much would this cost? I actually feel that it is probably more important to credit Disney for their creations on principle rather than because of profitability. I can't imagine a day when Disney World and Land would cease to exist, but it would be awful if society would forget about the genius of Walt Disney and feel this is a more compelling reason to support a "forever" copyright. My blog includes a link to a YouTube video that uses Disney clips to explain "fair use" and other copyright terms. Check it out!

Valerie D. said...

I was always under the impression that the money of the re-releases was the sole purpose of taking the movies out of the "vault." I just wonder at what point will it be hard for Disney to tweek the movies and such to keep the copyright while still keeping the integrety of the creation.

Valerie D. said...

Steph, no I do not believe that Disney should have a forever copyright in order to just receive the profits. I just think they are trademarks of the company and if anyone sees Mickey Mouse and other characters then they already know that the character is a Disney one. It just seems silly to me that they have to change things on the characters to keep the copyright going.
I am sure that Disney will still be around for years to come and I hope so because I enjoy their work. However, on the flip side I do think they are selfish for making people pay them to use the characters on minor things such as a bulletin board. You would think there are bigger things that they should be concerned with.

erinanderson said...

I couldn't help but wonder who and where they came up with the 70 years after a person has died, rule. It seems rather random to me! Maybe someone could elaborate a little more where that reasoning (and that particular number) came from?

Valerie D. said...

Erin,
That is a great question and I am still in search of the answer! Keep checking back and hopefully I will find the answer somewhere.

~Nicole~ said...

This is a very interesting area to discuss. Very relevant.

I have always wondered why Disney only releases a classic movie for a short time then send it back to the vault. I think that it would be a shame to lose some of those classic movies.

A point I am wondering is that if Disney is no longer able to restore films, would they be able to keep or get around the copyright?

Lorena said...

OK, so how about the "Happy Birthday" tune? I just read the most interesting account on copyrights of it. The copyright won't expire until 2030! Who wants next rights to that? LOL I never thought about it, but that's why restaurants have their own version of a birthday song that the waiters sing.

Steve Gallick said...

The "birthday" comment by Lorena is unbelievable to me. I NEVER thought that was the reason why each restaurant/company had their own version. I just assumed it was to be clever/unique/funny.

Valerie D. said...

Steven,
I agree with you! That was so surprising to me! Just think of that the next time you are singing the tune! :)