Copyright Laws- Do You Agree, Or Not?

For homework, we were assigned to browse through “Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States” that was complied by people at Cornell University. Although it wasn’t quite what I expected to read (I expected to see a long article), this was quite different.


This whole reading, if you want to call it that, is a big chart regarding people’s kinds of work they published, and when it is okay for someone else to use it based on Copyright laws.

The categories were: never published, never registered works, works registered for first published in the U.S., works first published outside the U.S. by foreign nationals or U.S. citizens living abroad, sound recordings, and architectural works.

The chart also states the date of publication, conditions, and the Copyright term.

Although I don’t necessarily agree with how long it takes for a person to legally be allowed to use another person’s work, there is nothing we can do about it unless the law changes. I think that because we have to allow so much time to pass after the creator has passed away before someone new can use their work, it will be such old news that most people will not even want to use it anymore.

In my personal opinion, I think that any work should be free game to the public immediately after the creator has passed away. The only other exception would be is if the creator sells it to someone else while they are still alive.

In the end, we have to follow the law, so until the law changes, we have to be careful of what work we share and use if it is copyrighted



4 thoughts on “Copyright Laws- Do You Agree, Or Not?

  1. In our group on Tuesday, we said it should be copyrighted until the author passes away plus ten years. The reason we decided this was because once the person dies, they or their works seem to become relevant again. Michael Jackson is a good instance. When he passed, people started buying his music again and his estate was still gaining money they needed to pay off their humongous debt.
    After the ten years have passed, it will lose relevancy once more and be allowed freely in the public domain.


  2. When doing the reading for class I also found it interesting that it was a large chart. However, it did make it easier to follow for those of us that are more visual.
    I also feel the current laws are to restricting. My group in class thought it would be best for the creator to get the full profit from their work for twenty years. Then after those twenty years, it would go into the public domain with the creator getting fifty percent of the new publishing profits. However, after the creator passes the piece(s) will go fully into the public domain.
    Overall I feel that the current laws are holding back the possibility of something new and fascinating being created.


  3. Your post was very interesting however, I do not believe that any piece of work should be “free game” after the original creator has passed. I believe what is theirs is theirs and should remain that way even after the creator is deceased. I do not think it is right for something to become open to the public just because the person had died. Copyrights should last longer, in my opinion.


  4. The copyright laws in the United States have always confused me. I actually can’t really form an opinion on this because I see the positives and negatives on multiple sides. When it comes to the creator passing away and their work being ‘free game,’ I’m not sure about how I feel on that either. I can understand why copyrights would still be put in place, because they created it and that work should always be credited to them. The fact that anyone could put their name on this work after a certain amount of years is rather confusing and seemingly unfair.


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