Category Archives: Copyright

Copyright Term Extensions are Looming!

In our September 2014 newsletter, we wrote about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is an international initiative, being negotiated in secret, which will have far-reaching impacts in many areas of trade, copyright, and more.

We urge all fans of Project Gutenberg to learn about this initiative, and speak with lawmakers and others about your concerns. Spread the word to your friends and family, who might not be aware of the downward pressure on wages and job security that the TPP would bring about.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has an article describing the disastrous effects of copyright term extensions, which will be extended under the TPP to match or exceed copyright terms in the United States.

Readers in countries with Project Gutenberg affiliates will be particularly interested in this article. Australia, Canada, Great Britain, some nations in Europe, and elsewhere would extend copyright terms if the TPP were to be enacted. This would largely halt growth of the public domain, as happened in the United States in 1998.

The Sanction of the Victim

Consider this question:

Would any of our modern publishers be able to compete with a mind and heart such as that of Johannes Gutenberg?

Yet they, and their predecessors, The Stationers, managed to take over the entire world of The Gutenberg Press with the first of an era of legal manipulation we call “Intellectual Property.”

This takeover reduced the number of books in print to 10% of what they had been the day before the first copyright law took place — and returned the control of all publishing to The Stationers, who had had it for all previous history before Gutenberg.

The current ripoff royalty structure of 5% was imposed, meaning a single dollar out of every $20 you pay over the country goes from you to the author, and all the rest goes to publishing emperors — and their various hired personnel that stand between you and that author you love so much, each taking what they consider to be the fair share to which they are entitled…only that share is made possible only by the world of monopoly….

Think about this when you hear about the world in which monopoly, copyright, and other powers are used to enable one person, or some business they control, to own entire libraries of books, music or movies that would have long since expired under the copyright law they were created and contracted under.

These people, such as Ted Turner and Co., have made more millions from these titles than did those who originally created them


Because the copyright laws have been manipulated so that an owner of any copyright [until very recently] was under the impression a copyright could not last and thus was willing to take payments of drastically less than their work was worth due to the stroke pens made when enacting new copyright laws that voided the old ones!!!

Continue reading The Sanction of the Victim

Canadians: Speak Out on Copyright

BIG NEWS! January’s a great time to send an email to Ottawa A unique opportunity for Canadians to defend their Public Domain (the deadline is January 31, 2011).

The Opportunity

Bill C-32, the bill to amend the Copyright Act, is now being examined by a parliamentary committee in Ottawa.

The committee has taken the unprecedented step of inviting the Canadian public to email their submissions directly to the committee, the deadline being the end of January. You will find information and instructions here and here.

This is an opportunity not to be missed.

From the point of view of public domain advocates, Bill C-32 has its merits. In particular, it did not follow the horrible example of the European Union and the United States by imposing a massive general extension of the length of copyrights. For this our parliamentarians deserve our heartfelt thanks.

But the bill is far from ideal. It includes extensions to copyright length for many audio recordings and photographs. Also, it does absolutely nothing to enhance our public domain.
Continue reading Canadians: Speak Out on Copyright

January 1, 2011 will be Public Domain Day

Every new year since the first copyrights expired, back around 1724, the world has looked forward to the expiration of copyrights and the availability of public domain works, which have been kept under publishing monopolies.

This coming January 1, Europeans will see a nice list of great works entering the public domain as their copyright terms expire. Yet in the United States, where a landmark Supreme Court Case decided that an extended copyright term could literally last forever, a person can no longer look forward to such happenings.

Some exampes of expiring copyright in Europe this coming year:

  • Freud
  • Havelock Ellis
  • Zane Grey
  • William Butler Yeats
  • etc.

These works can now have new life breathed into them via any number of new unauthorized editions that publishers and private citizens are able create, including new articles, books, TV shows, videos, movies and all other forms of media.

Next year, many people will ask why the sudden resurgent interest in Freud, Ellis, Grey, Yeats, etc., and answers will rarely include the fact that these authors weren’t previously available due to copyright.

Continue reading January 1, 2011 will be Public Domain Day

Copyright Revisions in Canada: Half a Loaf is Better Than None

Life+50 Duration Retained

The basic Life+50 copyright term is safe in Canada, at least for now.

There has been considerable pressure from foreign governments for Canada to extend its copyright term, but the Copyright Act revisions unveiled in June left the basic term of copyright unchanged. For this, the government deserves our thanks and congratulations. They have upheld the public interest.

Copyright Extensions for Some Photographs and Audio Recordings

However, harmful copyright extensions for some photographs and audio recordings are proposed in the new Bill C-32, making an unwelcome return. These provisions had been part of Bill C-61, a copyright bill introduced before the last election, but never passed. Now these provisions are back. For an explanation of these changes, and why they are harmful, see the Project Gutenberg Canada submission to last summer’s government-sponsored Copyright Consultations:

Nothing Done to Protect the Public Domain

My submission to the government dealt largely with the issue of works where the life dates of the authors are not known. Such situations are very common, but the Copyright Act makes no provision for them. The preposterous result is that such works have to be 140 years old before we can treat them as being in the public domain. We proposed that specific provision be made for such works, so that they are treated as being part of the public domain after 75 years. It is unlikely that such a provision would have encountered significant opposition had it been proposed. Continue reading Copyright Revisions in Canada: Half a Loaf is Better Than None

Suggestions needed about the ongoing U.S. Copyright Extensions




Suggestions are more than welcome how to publicize this upcoming event before it even starts to happen!!!

Apparently everyone is keeping silent about the various copyright extensions coming up in Canada and the U.S.

In just a few years yet another bill will be introduced in the U.S. Congress to extend copyright that has quite literally been extended from 14 years to 115 years.

Read the previous article on why we need to start before the issue arises.

Ongoing U.S. Copyright Extensions

Can anything be done to stop the next U.S. extension or If not stop them, at least publicize them a little?

I should add that this is probably a losing battle even if it looks as if we are winning.

Here’s why:

When the last Australian Copyright Act was discussed in Parliament, they passed a resolution stating they would not extend copyrights.


However, just three years later, under economic warfare from, shall we just say, outside sources, they crumbled to the pressure and gave in.

The Canadian Parliament is currently in that position–and while some tell me they have enough signatures from those against any extensions, I will bet you lunch that they, too, crumble before it is over.

I would gladly lose every one of those wagers!!!

Further Information Continue reading Ongoing U.S. Copyright Extensions