US Copyright Term Extensions Have Stopped, But the Public Domain Still Faces Threats

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Mitch Stoltz

“Why did U.S. copyright terms stop their relentless growth? Because people from all walks of life stood up and said ‘no more!’ The Internet has made everyone a creator and a user of creative work, whether photos, video, music, or prose. Internet users recognized that ever-longer copyright terms impoverish the public conversation and benefit almost no one. Over the past decade, you’ve made your voices heard and made further term extensions toxic for U.S. lawmakers. The public domain still faces threats. Canada is poised to enact its own 20-year term extension. We can also expect rightsholders with lots of legal firepower, like Disney, to try and stretch trademark law into what the Supreme Court once called ‘a species of mutant copyright,’ to keep others from building on old characters, books, and films.” (01/16/23)