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How long book copywrite?

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  • How long book copywrite?

    Can someone tell me, is there a time limit on a book when the copywrite runs out. I think music ones run out after 50 years but I'm not certain.

  • #2
    I dont think it runs out, Im not 100% sure but unless it is given to the public domain then the person that wrote it will own its copyright forever?


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply Eric, but surely if the writer is long dead or a certain time has elapsed?
      You see what I'm getting at, there must be loads of books out there which could be made into a film without having to pay for a bestseller.


      • #4
        Screenwriter and script consultant:


        • #5
          Thanks Mara,
          Brilliant link, for anyone following this thread the gist of it is, before 1923 is public domain. After that; 70 years after the death of author. If a work of corporate authorship, 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever expires first.
          The above is for USA but there are conditions and exceptions so check Mara's link above for the full regs.
          Update; Just to be sure I found the UK version of Mara's link, the regs are very similar but not exactly the same.
          <p><a href="" title="UK Copyright Law">UK Copyright Law</a> fact sheet from the UK Copyright Service.</p>
          Last edited by martynuk; 02-09-2014, 02:32 AM. Reason: new link


          • #6
            For anyone who's wondering, we largely have Walt Disney (the company) and Sonny Bono (the congressman) to thank for the longer copyright terms we have today. Thanks to them most works produced in the later part of the 20th century will not enter public domain within our lifetime.
            Matt Crunk
            Fiveacre Films Productions


            • #7
              Copyright is not forever. I wanna say the new law is 75 years, which is longer than it used to be, but I'm sure the link above is more accurate. I know Disney and ERB had a hand in getting it extended so that Mickey Mouse and Tarzan will not fall into public domain anytime soon. They are still viable characters many decades after their creation (Tarzan was created 102 years ago!). This character longevity is something relatively new in intellectual property, so updated laws were needed.

              Kurt Hathaway
              VikingDream7 Productions
              Video Production & Editing