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US Copyright Renewal

Updated:2018-4-12 16:10:56    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:500

US copyright renewal is a process through which an initial term of copyright protection for a work can be extended for a second term. Once the term of copyright protection has ended, the copyrighted work enters the public domain, and can be freely reproduced and incorporated into new works.

In the United States, works published before 1923 are all in the public domain under the provisions of the Copyright Act of 1909 and previous law. This act provided for an initial term of 28 years. This term could be extended for an additional 28 years by registering copyright renewal with the US copyright office.

When the 1976 Copyright Act was passed, Congress added 19 years to the renewal term, bringing it from 28 years to 47, for a total of 75 years. Copyrights already in their renewal term got the extra 19 years automatically. Copyrights in their initial 28-year term on 12/31/77 got the 47-year renewal term as long as the copyrights were renewed in their 28th year.

How long does a copyright last?
The term of copyright for a particular work depends on several factors, including whether it has been published, and, if so, the date of first publication. As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors. To determine the length of copyright protection for a particular work, consult chapter 3 of the Copyright Act.

Do you have to renew my copyright?
No. Works created on or after January 1, 1978, are not subject to renewal registration. As to works published or registered prior to January 1, 1978, renewal registration is optional after 28 years but does provide certain legal advantages.

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