Happy "Copyright Week"
Organized by the EFF, this week-long online event highlights issues of particular concern to open-source (or "copyleft") intellectual property watchers and lobbyists. It focuses on the ability of programmers, writers, and other users of intellectual property to be able to more freely use copyrighted material without overbearing restrictions.
While most intellectual property experts tend to lean towards the protections that current copyright law provides to authors and creators, it is important to understand how the interpretations of that law (as well as revisions thereof: think of the 1998 CTEA) might restrict the usage of materials in a way that seems to benefit only a few.
We here at Gryphon Publishing Consulting are generally proponents of copyright law as it stands (if for no other reason than this is what the majority of publishers need to deal with on a daily basis), but we watch the EFF (and indeed, all cases that come forth related to copyright) in order to understand the issues that may be presented to our clients as well as potential confusion in copyright law and/or misinformation that may arise surrounding copyright legislation.
Indeed, for every supposed hard and fast "rule" of copyright, there are many potential exceptions and rulings which muddy the water. "It depends" often becomes a well-trod phrase when discussing copyright. But that is why we strive to share as much information about copyright and permissions here so that YOU, our clients and friends, can make informed decisions about your company's approach to copyright and possible issues that may arise from your proposed use of an item.
With that said, today's topic in Copyright Week focuses on the Public Domain. At this posting, articles and links on the EFF site were not listed yet, but I'm certain we'll see mention of the recent release of pre-1924 items into the Public Domain, and I suspect we will find a call for more items to be released sooner. After all, EFF generally considers current copyright law to be far too stifling for creativity to flourish.
Check it out here: https://www.eff.org/copyrightweek