In fact, there is strong evidence that works still under long copyright are supressed until they become public domain.
More importantly, it suppresses derivative works until the underlying original falls into the public domain.
If I were to create a fictional story, it's very likely that the things I have read in my life will subconsciously influence what I write.
To protect myself legally, I have two things that can protect me:
1) Don't publish my work until after all works that exist today are out of copyright, or
2) Base my work on something that is in the public domain (Shakespeare and ancient myths are common sources for writers, but anything published in the US prior to 1923 should be fine). If someone claims I stole from them, I can say "no, I stole from another source, and you probably did as well."
#2 won't protect me if I unintentionally/sub-consciously steal details like the names of characters or specific modern settings. In other words, if I redo Romeo and Juliet, it should not involve two street gangs or be set in a late-20th-century major Western City or the copyright-owners of West Side Story might come after me. But if West Side Story had been a nearly-completely-original work (i.e. neither Romeo and Juliet nor any other opposite-culture-therefore-forbidden teen romance had ever been written) if I would risk being sued if I wrote about two star-crossed lovers who lived 500 years ago.