Don't book rights expire after 50 years or something like patents? Or am I not even in the right direction?
50 years would make it 2015, but then they can't do shit to anyone, no?
Unless they lengthen it somehow.
This is one of those issues that I was talking about the other day that has been subject to many, many, many changes over the years, both judicial and legislative. I have researched this issue recently for an ever-growing article I have been working on for some time for T(A)U. If I have done my homework correctly, then for Dune
, published in 1965 and adequately protected by notice of copyright in the front cover, then the item is copyrighted for 28 years, then subject to an automatic extension (by statute) of 67 more years, for a total period of proprietary ownership until 2060 (95 years total), without reference to the death of the creator. Rules for items created on different dates vary widely, so if you have any questions, please ask me, and dont assume that this rule here applies to every book that is out there.
However, every time the copyright for certain Disney characters (most notably Mickey Mouse a.k.a. Steamboat Willy) is about to come up, Disney gets its local FL and CA Congressional representatives to propose and push through an amendment to the laws which gives the corporation more time. Currently, I believe, the Mouse's copyright is up May 15, 2023. Since this is well before the Dune
copyright comes up, I'd count Disney lobbying again for another change at some point. and for the family to have proprietary rights for longer, as they would be third-party beneficiaries of the changes Disney is able to effectuate in the future.
I think in other parts of the world copyright is determined by home-venue laws, so likely most jurisdictions in the first world adhere to what US law is, though in some places it may be by convention, and in others subject to local laws. Im still kind of fuzzy on overseas rights.