Happy Public Domain Day Everyone! This is a momentous occasion as this is the first year since the 1978 Copyright expansion that the US has actually had one of these. Today, the first works from 1923 will enter the public domain in the US and it is a bittersweet moment for everyone who cares about the progress of art and science. Sweet for the wonderful works that people will be able to distribute freely without risk of being sued or jailed for doing so. Bitter for all the works that have been lost because the owner of the copyright didn’t care about preservation or because the copyright owner cannot be found.Continue reading
Sure they shrink in the cold but do they wobble to and fro?
23:53 – Soul Calibur 6 custom characters are being used to cheat in online matches
34:42 – Warner pulls the plug on FilmStruck, as streaming service for classic films
48:38 – Copyright Office announces new DMCA exemptions
UPDATED: Its Back. Earlier today, CinemaSins, the channel dedicated to critiquing and over analyzing every single movie in existence, published its regularly scheduled sins video. This video was to sin the Warner Bros. distributed movie Annabelle: Creation. However, visitors to the popular movie critic Youtube channel were not given their weekly dose of movie sins. Instead, they were presented with the above copyright claim by Warner Bros. The text reads as follows:
This video contains content from MC for Warner Bros., who has blocked it on copyright grounds.
Swatting got someone killed last week. It’s an unpleasant topic and one we spend the first part of the show yammering about anything and everything to avoid it. But, as former GamePolitics writers, we felt we needed to discuss it.
46:00 – Gamers kill someone via swatting
1:13:08 – Copyright extensions keep hundreds of games from entering the public domain this year
January 1st of each year is what is colloquially referred to as Public Domain Day. It is the day that works enter the public domain after their copyright terms have expired. At least in most countries outside the US. The US has gone decades without anything entering the public domain, but thankfully, 2018 will be the last year this is so. Unless Congress succumbs to the whims of the Motion Picture Industry and extends copyright again.
Every year, the Duke Law School publishes a report about the state of the public domain on January 1st and this year is no exception. This is what Duke had to say about the US.
What is entering the public domain in the United States? Not a single published work. Once again, no published works are entering our public domain this year.2 (Happily, works published in 1923 will finally begin to enter our public domain next year.) The only works that are clearly in the US public domain now are those published before 1923. But what about works published after that date? Does that mean that they’re still under copyright? Well, maybe. Citizens of the United States have to live with a frustrating lack of clarity about what older works they can use. Did the author comply with registration or renewal requirements when those were mandatory?3 The records are fragmentary and confused, the copyright holders hard to find. Perhaps some post-1923 works by the authors above are in the public domain. Perhaps they are still copyrighted. We have to live in a fog of uncertainty, uncertainty that benefits no one. By contrast, in Canada and the EU, the public will know on January 1 that all works by these authors are in the public domain.
Poor leaky, leaky Nintendo.
40:11 – Wargaming admits copyright abuse was wrong move
50:05 – Nintendo sells empty Splatoon boxes for collectors
56:15 – Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle leaks
This week, Nintendo made a reasonable localization decision. I know, we were surprised too!
28:17 – Nintendo replaces obscene gesture in Mario Kart 8
34:26 – No Destiny 2 on Switch because the game is online-only
39:52 – World of Tank devs are using copyright in order to censor harsh criticism
We have a gameplan this week but that doesn’t stop us from spending the last 45 minutes of the podcast yammering about movies, anime, comics, video games, super heroes and other stuff. We can’t help ourselves!
24:23 – The Nintendo Switch’s myriad hardware issues
42:35 – Game companies don’t want anyone fixing their hardware but them
51:23 – Nintendo wins lawsuit against maker of flash carts
57:12 – Valve won’t count your review score for any Steam game you obtained for free
This week’s episode of Molehill Mountain is chock full of political goodness. Or badness.
Uh… We talk politics!
25:33 – What does a tariff on imported goods mean to gamers?
43:36 – What does getting rid of net neutrality mean to gamers?
55:55 – Brad Bushman study gets trashed
1:03:40 – Capcom, Sherlock Holmes and the Public Domain
1:18:05 – More Nintendo Switch stuff
For all of us in the United States, January 1st is just New Year’s day. The day the calendar ticks another year. But for people who live outside the US in Canada, Europe and elsewhere, January 1st means something else entirely. It means today is the day that new works enter the Public Domain. This is the day that more of our culture becomes free to distribute, free to build upon , and free to do whatever we want with. Yet, because of terrible copyright laws in the US, we miss out on all this.
Prior to 1978, copyrights lasted only 28 years, with the option to renew them a single time for an additional 28 years. Then in 1978, Congress, under the guidance of companies such as Disney, extended copyrights to last the life of the author plus 50 years. That is what the rest of the world has today. But in 1998, Congress once again, at the bidding of companies like Disney, extend copyrights to last life plus 70 years for human authors and 95 years for corporate owned copyrights. This pushed the US out of line with much of the world and works in the US won’t start entering the Public Domain until 2019. Continue reading