Opposing Copyright Extension

Statutes and Treaties

Sections 302 - 305 of the United States Copyright Act (on duration)
as would have been amended by H.R. 989


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UNITED STATES CODE
TITLE 17 - COPYRIGHTS
CHAPTER 3 - DURATION OF COPYRIGHT

as proposed to be amended by H.R. 989, 104th Congress (1995-1996)
(the text of S.483, as originally proposed, was identical)

Deleted text is indicated by strikeouts, added text in italic:

Section 302. Duration of copyright: Works created on or after January 1, 1978

(a) In General. - Copyright in a work created on or after January 1, 1978, subsists from its creation and, except as provided by the following subsections, endures for a term consisting of the life of the author and fifty 70 years after the author's death.

(b) Joint Works. - In the case of a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work for hire, the copyright endures for a term consisting of the life of the last surviving author and fifty 70years after such last surviving author's death.

(c) Anonymous Works, Pseudonymous Works, and Works Made for Hire. - In the case of an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of seventy-five 95 years from the year of its first publication, or a term of one hundred 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. If, before the end of such term, the identity of one or more of the authors of an anonymous or pseudonymous work is revealed in the records of a registration made for that work under subsections (a) or (d) of section 408, or in the records provided by this subsection, the copyright in the work endures for the term specified by subsection (a) or (b), based on the life of the author or authors whose identity has been revealed. Any person having an interest in the copyright in an anonymous or pseudonymous work may at any time record, in records to be maintained by the Copyright Office for that purpose, a statement identifying one or more authors of the work; the statement shall also identify the person filing it, the nature of that person's interest, the source of the information recorded, and the particular work affected, and shall comply in form and content with requirements that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation.

(d) Records Relating to Death of Authors. - Any person having an interest in a copyright may at any time record in the Copyright Office a statement of the date of death of the author of the copyrighted work, or a statement that the author is still living on a particular date. The statement shall identify the person filing it, the nature of that person's interest, and the source of the information recorded, and shall comply in form and content with requirements that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation. The Register shall maintain current records of information relating to the death of authors of copyrighted works, based on such recorded statements and, to the extent the Register considers practicable, on data contained in any of the records of the Copyright Office or in other reference sources.

(e) Presumption as to Author's Death. - After a period of seventy-five 95 years from the year of first publication of a work, or a period of one hundred 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first, any person who obtains from the Copyright Office a certified report that the records provided by subsection (d) disclose nothing to indicate that the author of the work is living, or died less than fifty 70 years before, is entitled to the benefits of a presumption that the author has been dead for at least fifty 70 years. Reliance in good faith upon this presumption shall be a complete defense to any action for infringement under this title.

Section 303. Duration of copyright: Works created but not published or copyrighted before January 1, 1978

Copyright in a work created before January 1, 1978, but not theretofore in the public domain or copyrighted, subsists from January 1, 1978, and endures for the term provided by section 302. In no case, however, shall the term of copyright in such a work expire before December 31, 2002 2012; and, if the work is published on or before December 31, 2002 2012, the term of copyright shall not expire before December 31, 2027 2047.

Section 304. Duration of copyright: Subsisting copyrights

(a) Copyrights in Their First Term on January 1, 1978. -

(1)(A) Any copyright, the first term of which is subsisting on January 1, 1978, shall endure for 28 years from the date it was originally secured.

(B) In the case of -

the proprietor of such copyright shall be entitled to a renewal and extension of the copyright in such work for the further term of 47 67 years.

(C) In the case of any other copyrighted work, including a contribution by an individual author to a periodical or to a cyclopedic or other composite work -

shall be entitled to a renewal and extension of the copyright in such work for a further term of 47 67 years.

(2)(A) At the expiration of the original term of copyright in a work specified in paragraph (1)(B) of this subsection, the copyright shall endure for a renewed and extended further term of 47 67 years, which -

(B) At the expiration of the original term of copyright in a work specified in paragraph (1)(C) of this subsection, the copyright shall endure for a renewed and extended further term of 47 67 years, which -

(3)(A) An application to register a claim to the renewed and extended term of copyright in a work may be made to the Copyright Office -

(B) Such an application is not a condition of the renewal and extension of the copyright in a work for a further term of 47 67 years.

(4)(A) If an application to register a claim to the renewed and extended term of copyright in a work is not made within 1 year before the expiration of the original term of copyright in a work, or if the claim pursuant to such application is not registered, then a derivative work prepared under authority of a grant of a transfer or license of the copyright that is made before the expiration of the original term of copyright may continue to be used under the terms of the grant during the renewed and extended term of copyright without infringing the copyright, except that such use does not extend to the preparation during such renewed and extended term of other derivative works based upon the copyrighted work covered by such grant.

(B) If an application to register a claim to the renewed and extended term of copyright in a work is made within 1 year before its expiration, and the claim is registered, the certificate of such registration shall constitute prima facie evidence as to the validity of the copyright during its renewed and extended term and of the facts stated in the certificate. The evidentiary weight to be accorded the certificates of a registration of a renewed and extended term of copyright made after the end of that 1-year period shall be within the discretion of the court.

(b) Copyrights in Their Renewal Term or Registered for Renewal Before January 1, 1978. -

The duration of any copyright, the renewal term of which is subsisting at any time between December 31, 1976, and December 31, 1977, inclusive, or for which renewal registration is made between December 31, 1976, and December 31, 1977, inclusive, is extended to endure for a term of seventy-five95 years from the date copyright was originally secured.

(c) Termination of Transfers and Licenses Covering Extended Renewal Term. -

In the case of any copyright subsisting in either its first or renewal term on January 1, 1978, other than a copyright in a work made for hire, the exclusive or nonexclusive grant of a transfer or license of the renewal copyright or any right under it, executed before January 1, 1978, by any of the persons designated by subsection (a)(1)(C) of this section, otherwise than by will, is subject to termination under the following conditions:

Section 305. Duration of copyright: Terminal date

All terms of copyright provided by sections 302 through 304 run to the end of the calendar year in which they would otherwise expire.


H.R. 989 would also have amended portions of Public Law 102-307 (106 Stat. 266, 17U.S.C. note)--the Copyright Renewal Act of 1992--as follows:

Public Law 102-307, 102nd Congress, 2nd Session

Section 102(c)(of P.L. 102-307), Legal Effect of Renewal of Copyright Unchanged.

The renewal and extension of a copyright for a further term of 47 67 years provided for under paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 304(a) of title 17, United States Code (as amended by subsection (a) of this section) shall have the same effect with respect to any grant, before the effective date of this section effective date of the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1995 , of a transfer or license of the further term as did the renewal of a copyright before the effective date of this section effective date of the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1995 under the law in effect at the time of such grant.

Section 102(g)(of P.L. 102-307), Effective Date; Copyrights Affected by Amendment.

(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), this section and the amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2) The amendments made by this section shall apply only to those copyrights secured between January 1, 1964, and December 31, 1977. Copyrights secured before January 1, 1964, shall be governed by the provisions of section 304(a) of title 17, United States Code, as in effect on the day before the effective date of this section, except each reference to forth-seven years in such provision shall be deemed to be 67 years.

(3) This section and the amendments made by this section shall not affect any court proceedings pending on the effective date of this section.

Effective Date (of H.R. 989)

Section 3 of H.R. 989 (Effective Date) provided:  "This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act."