US Is Left Waiting For Godot On Public Domain Day: Once Again, Absolutely Nothing Enters The Public Domain This Year
from the what-public-domain dept
And, boy oh boy, were there a lot of wonderful works that would have and should have entered the public domain this past week, if we followed the laws as they existed when those works were created. Headlining the group, what could be more fitting than the famous play Waiting for Godot, which is all about waiting for someone or something that never comes.
Other works of interest? Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley and Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss. The first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien would be free to build upon. A bunch of movies would have moved into the public domain as well, including On the Waterfront, Alfred Hitchcock's versions of Rear Window and Dial M for Murder, Kurasawa's amazing Seven Samurai and Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Chances are that many of us will not live to see any of those works actually enter the public domain, despite the promise that was given to us by the US government that they would all enter the public domain by now.
Copyright defenders love to claim that infringement is a form of "theft." Yet, they never seem troubled by the idea that copyright extensions like this have clearly taken away the public's clearly stated rights to make use of these works under the deal that was made with those content creators at the time those works were officially published. It seems to me that taking away such rights from the public is significantly more troubling than someone downloading a song they never would have paid for in the first place.