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  1.  (1592.81)
    Peter Pan went into public domain in Britain this year

    Nope. It entered public domain in the EU generally, but not the UK.
    Looking into it a bit it seems GOSH (ther own term for themselves) still has perpetual copyright under their special grant, however they cannot refuse license as per a normal copyright holder.
    • CommentAuthorCraig Shaw
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2008 edited
    I was under the impression that Lost Girls was released in the UK because of a specific agreement between GOSH and Top Shelf rather than any extant copright issue.

  2.  (1592.83)

    I recall hearing about that too. No idea. I just am fairly certain GOSH still has their perpetual grant.
    • CommentAuthorScottS
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2008
    I tried to read the newsarama stuff but, like so many other people here, just couldn't do it. I generally try to avoid reading most of the talk-back comments at Newsarama anyway, simply because the negativity of the posters generally overwhelms everything, but this is just plain ridiculous... and a bit sickening really.
  3.  (1592.85)
    I think this is the last thing I will have to say other then help clear up confusion.

    I think the symbolic weight of the holding is going to far out reach the legal weight, but that symbolism has legal impact too.

    No new substantial law has been created, can't say it enough, but it may act to embolden some writers, artists or their estates to seek redress of a situation they felt was hopeless. Or to simply look into filing those termination papers on their Dad's creation. The message that will resonate past the legal facts is: If the courts will side with the rule of law on for the Siegel estate, they will do so again for me..

    And thats a a good message to take away. If you have a legitimate issue, a real controversy at hand, you can win.
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2008
    In early post you talked about bad ideas... you know what was a bad idea with Superman?

    This one:

    done by DC. I don't think Siegel's (and Shuster's) heirs would have thinked something as crappy as that.
    and after reading JTraub's post, I suspect it was a way to avoid copyright laws...
  4.  (1592.87)
    Would you like to get good and disgusted? This is a Newsarama comments thread that is mostly complaining that DC lost the case.

    Oh, dear God ow ow ow ow

    Wow. That was exquisitely painful, Warren. Thanks.

    The whole story, in a happier vein, makes me long for the old Engine "reimagine" public domain characters thread, though. I'd love to see what some of those guys would do with a reimagined Superman. Heh.

    [edit: to include the right goddam quote, sigh]
  5.  (1592.88)

    And if you want truly scary copyright weirdness, check out this article on James Joyce's grandson, who has been hovering over his grandfather's work like a vulture.

    One of the people I worked with at Microsoft had done some time in acquisitions for Encarta, and had petitioned the grandson for a two or three paragraph excerpt from Ulysses to include in the encyclopedia. The letter she received in response was just amazing, this towering edifice of smugness, as if he'd written the novel himself, and demanding terms for this tiny excerpt that bordered on psychotic. I have ZERO objection to someone protecting their trademark and copyright, but this guy was simply amazing, in a very, very bad way.

    She had the letter framed and hanging on her office wall. I wish I'd thought to transcribe it.

  6.  (1592.89)
    Forgive my stupidity if I am wrong, but doesn't the GOSH copyright only extend to the actual play as a production, not the domain of the characters?
    • CommentAuthordaz
    • CommentTimeApr 1st 2008
    Even if you were wrong, it's not a stupid thing to ask. This copyright stuff can be subtle :^)

    You're correct that the perpetual copyright applies only to the play and adaptations thereof. FromThe Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (UK)

    The provisions of Schedule 6 have effect for conferring on trustees for the benefit of the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, a right to a royalty in respect of the public performance, commercial publication, broadcasting or inclusion in a cable programme service of the play 'Peter Pan' by Sir James Matthew Barrie, or of any adaptation of that work, notwithstanding that copyright in the work expired on 31 December 1987.

    However the Hospital also commissioned an 'offical sequel' in 2004, "Peter Pan in Scarlet", featuring the same characters, which has the effect of extending their copyright on the characters until... probably some time in the 22nd century? (or am I the stupid one now? :^)

  7.  (1592.91)
    However the Hospital also commissioned an 'offical sequel' in 2004, "Peter Pan in Scarlet", featuring the same characters, which has the effect of extending their copyright on the characters until... probably some time in the 22nd century

    Derivative works don't extend copyright in characters, or Disney, Warner and so on would have little need to ever think about copyright extension lobby.
    • CommentAuthordaz
    • CommentTimeApr 2nd 2008
    am I the stupid one now?

    That would be a 'yes' then.
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2008
    The idea of "promoting the useful arts" is nothing more then preamble, it does not dictate the character of copyright law anymore then "to form a more perfect union" dictates the character of every law.

    Copyright extension is constitutional. Does not mean you have to like to like it, obviously, but its now well settled congress has the right to do so. Anyway, thats the fact of it, lets not turn this thread into a copyright war thread.

    Two Supreme Court Judges dissenting opinions...

    ...suggests that this is a matter of opinion, not a fact.
    • CommentTimeApr 12th 2008
    The remark....
    <blockquote>[..] lets not turn this thread into a copyright war thread.</blockquote>
    ...suggests that no one wants to hear it. If you have a personal argument to make in support of those dissenting opinions, make it. Otherwise, let it go. This discussion ended ten days ago.

    - Z
  8.  (1592.95)
    This discussion ended ten days ago.

    I'd thought this thread was closed, actually.

    JTraub did an excellent job of explaining exactly what was going on, ten times better than other comic news sites.