...there are still several countries with terms of over life+70 years, and without a rule of the shorter term. Which means that in the best case, Ravel's Bolero will enter the public domain in 2037!
- Guatemala, Honduras, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, and Mexico (in certain cases) have life+75 years - Colombia, and Spain (in certain cases) have life+80 years - Jamaica has life+95 years - Ivory Coast (or CÃ´te d'Ivoire as they prefer to be called nowadays) has life+99 years - And finally Mexico (in certain cases) has life+100 years, specifically for authors who died after July 23, 1928 and whose works were released after July 23, 2003.
Add to the fact that the public domain status is renewed only on the January 1st after the Nth aniversary of the death of the author, and the public domain term applies until January 1st, 2037 (which would have been all the way up to 2038 if the work had been released no more than 13 years ago).
If the copyright agencies around the world could have a saying about it, it would be time to say goodbye to all pre-1914 everything basically. Personally, I can't in good conscience consider anything after that date as public domain, not considering the copyright laws around the world.
The unfortunate effect of Matchstick not supporting DRM is that they'd have to miss out many parts of the web that are currently taken for granted in any respectable streaming device. Netflix is the obvious MIA, but there are also the rentals for YouTube and Vimeo, the movies from Apple and Google, and many audio streaming sites. Without DRM, the offerings such a device could offer would be very limited. Not their fault of course, it's the way that the media industry defends its model, and prevents third parties from participating in full without submitting to the whims of said conglomerate. All in all, I understand why Matchstick preferred to close their project, instead of releasing a "crippled" device due to factors out of their control.
Know what's the worst part of this? No other major browser is committed enough to freedom, and the few free-software browsers that do are mostly GNU+Linux-exclusive. For example, the FSF's fork of Firefox, GNU IceCat.
Now, let's consider the intricacies required to license said song as public domain in every country in the world. It's not pickiness, it's literally required to supply network services worldwide in several cases. There are several countries with terms even longer than Life+70: Mexico (Life+100), Ivory Coast / Côte D'Ivoire (Life+99), Colombia (Life+80), Samoa, Honduras, Guatemala, and Saint Vincent and Grenadines (Life+75). If you or your children, grandchildren or greatgrandchildren happened to move to any of those countries, your greatgrandchild would be in his 80's when said songs enter the public domain, and your greatgreatgrandchild (!) on his 55's.
Agreed. Projects like Secret Maryo Chronicles (a libre replacement of Mario Bros.), OpenSurge (a replacement of Sonic), TuxKart (Mario Kart), 0 A.D. (Age of Empires), StepMania (DDR/Pump It Up), and several others have been able to liberate the gamestyle of their original games while using unique and original characters and scenarios.
My wish to found a company that releases free-as-in-freedom hardware, devoid of any technology under restrictive patents or binary-only firmware, that builds and releases a cheap plug server based on it, specialized on hosting decentralized, encrypted, free-as-in-freedom networking services, is starting to turn, not just on a desirable reality, but also in a need.
This is one of the reasons why I avoid to work upon most public domain works: retroactive re-copyrighting. One day, for example, you publish the translation of a work from an author that died, say, 53 years ago, taking care of releasing it solely in the countries where life+50 applies, and not those with life+70 or beyond. The next day, the parliament of a country where you already released the translation declares that copyright is retroactively extended to life+70, and bam! Now you're a criminal, liable for infringement, most possibly about to be sued for the earnings of your book and then some more, even if the work is already declared as "orphan". I usually recommend people who do use public domain works in a common basis to use only works that are legally usable in all countries of the world (currently that means life+100, thanks to Mexico and Ivory Coast amogn others), in order to avoid both licensing fragmentation and unexpected retroactive licensing. The alternative is, of course, copyleft and liberal licensing, but even those are liable to retroactive relicensing as well (albeit in a more limited form).
Finally, a good example of the usage of trademarks as a mark of origin and trust. Even though I disagree with the other restrictions that Mozilla places on its trademark usage (e.g. not allowing free-software derivatives of Firefox to use its trademark, to the point that the IceWeasel and Icecat projects had to be created as a direct result), in this case they're totally correct into claiming it as a case of deluding unaware users, tricking them into trusting a product masquerading as a privacy-protecting program.
The best effort done towards making the cloud work for its users has been the federated social network, where anyone can host a local version of the network and communicate with other servers with only knowing the address to point at. Status.Net, Diaspora, Friendica, Pump.IO, just to name a few recent examples.
If we take into account that there is at least one country (Mexico) where the copyright of the Sherlock Holmes' series as a whole is still standing until at least 2031 (100 years after the death of the author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), then the defense of Doyle's estate can allege that Klinger and King are infringing in at least one country, which will grant them 8 more years than the estate claims!