bs0d3 writes: As Public Domain Day has passed, we had a good look at what could have entered the Public Domain in America if we had pre-1978 copyright laws. Works ranging from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Return of the King — the final installment in his Lord of Rings trilogy to Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash would be free to use. Under the law that existed until 1978.. Up to 85% of all copyrighted works from 1983 might have been entering the public domain on January 1, 2012. This isn't the same story for the rest of the world though. As the US and EU have long lasting, stern, copyright laws; the law in Canada is a little less intense. While Europe marks the entry of James Joyce into its public domain, Joyce has been in the public domain in Canada for the past 20 years. In Canada, the term is life of the author plus 50 years, consistent with international law. In the U.S. and Europe, the term exceeds international requirements by requiring 70 years, meaning many works take two more decades to enter the public domain. Wallace McLean offers his annual list of new entrants into the Canadian public domain, which notably includes Ernest Hemingway.
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