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1 Destro  Fri, Mar 29, 2013 1:42:48pm

As a comic book collector this interests me. When does Superman go off copyright and if it does - what goes off copyright exactly since Superman is in continuous publication.

I do know partial ownership of Superman was returned to the estates of the creators also but stuff invented for Superman after they sold the rights to DC remain DC property.

Also, in Europe, the earliest Beatles / rock music of that era has gone out of copyright while it’s still protected in the States.

Very convoluted,

2 Political Atheist  Fri, Mar 29, 2013 2:41:36pm

Patents are not forever. I can see a trademark extending as long as the company does, like Coca Cola. But at some point copyright should end like a patent.

3 John Vreeland  Fri, Mar 29, 2013 2:43:36pm

Clearly trade marks can be protected in perpetuity. So does that effectively protect the copyright? My instinct is that it does not. While no one else should be able to violate their trade mark by creating new Micky Mouse cartoons, the old ones should no longer be protected, and people should be able to use them for anything as long as they clearly distance themselves from the brand. That pretty much limits them to exhibiting the old material, with very little modification, as anything else would appear to be original theft of a trade mark.

For example, perhaps Steamboat Willie becomes public domain and exhibition of it is them unrestricted, but if you want to use that material in, say, a modern creation, then it must clearly be the Steamboat Willie animation that you are using, and changes would have to be restricted to cleaning up a “bad” print. And you would still have to announce who owned the trade mark. A new script, or new animations that did not appear in the original would seem to violate the TM, as only Disney has the right to create new MM cartoons. I don’t see how anyone is hurt by that.

But I also think that the copyright limits are way too long, and should be shortened.

4 Aligarr  Fri, Mar 29, 2013 3:56:34pm

It pays to be a corporate lawyer . A buddy of mine has owned a beauty salon for 30 years . It was named Caesar’s Salon , until about 6years ago he went on the internet . Within literall days the mighty Caesar’s of Las Vegas came down hard and heavy .After about $2k and the advice of several lawyers , it was determined he would lose in any litigation . He changed the name of his salon .

5 kirkspencer  Fri, Mar 29, 2013 5:19:11pm

Patents are not forever. Nor are copyrights. But as I said, the question of how much protection trademark of something copyrighted is, well, not really clear at this time. It seems intuitively obvious that it shouldn’t be complete, but neither should it be nothing.

As I said regardless of final resolution it’s going to impact this particular slice of law.

6 Randall Gross  Sat, Mar 30, 2013 4:32:08am

Copyrights should not last 100 years plus, it detracts from and diminishes our culture. There are only so many stories in the village, and we continually reinvent and retell all of them. Perpetual copyright limits that freedom. Artists and their estates deserve a limited time of profit from their works, but corporations should not be able to artificially extend copyright by trademarking everything relevant to the original copyright. Anyone should now be able to make New Mickey Mouse stories, while Disney may still own particular static depictions and stylings, and no others, as their trademark.

7 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Sat, Mar 30, 2013 7:45:06am

re: #6 Randall Gross

Exactly. Imagine if King Arthur were trademarked. Or Robin Hood.


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