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Old 24 December 2004, 12:34   #16
fiath's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: South East / UK
Age: 39
Posts: 1,926
Originally Posted by HCF
How long until the copyright expires, anybody knows ?
It is complicated. It differs from country-to-country. It depends on what exactly what is copyrighted. It also changes a lot. It is an utter shambles basically, but in some respects it needs to be as it is.

In the UK, it changed in 1996, and then again in 2003 to comply with the EUCD so the following is probably also true for all European countries, or soon will be. Copyright expires in artistic works 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies. For sound recordings, films, broadcasts etc. it is different again. Previously, I *think* it was 50 years after the death of the author for everything. You can see more information on copyright in the UK here:

In the US things get worse, it has all the complications of the above, and it changes all the time. It is no coincidence that the copyright length coincides with the amount of time that keeps Mickey Mouse protected. I am not kidding. Anyway, some types of works the duration of copyright is 95 years from publication, and some it is 120 years from creation.

Basically, we are all likely to be dead for most things produced in our lifetime.
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