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August 24, 2004

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I'm curious myself to see how Judge Posner can find a way to work around Berne, even for U.S. works.

Donna Wentworth wrote on the Corante blog at http://www.corante.com/copyfight/archives/005843.html:
"In a conversation on the Cyberia-L email list, CIS Fellow Chris Sprigman argues that Judge Posner's suggested "fix" for the copyright term extension problem is flawed because it may not pass muster under the Berne Convention, and, by extension, the TRIPS accord. So in a forthcoming issue of the Stanford Law Review, Sprigman will propose his own solution: restoring to copyright law the sort of formalities that copyright holders like Ludlow Music, Inc. have occasionally messed up.

An advance copy of Sprigman's piece is available [PDF] @ the CIS weblog."
http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blogs/sprigman/archives/Reform(aliz)ing_Copyright12.1.pdf

Very interesting but only a solution for the US.

The internet is a global phenomenon.

It is very difficult for web projects like the Wikipedia (US server, national branches) to know if a picture (or work) is Public Domain worldwide. A well known photograph of Churchill is Public Domain in Canada but not in Germany:

http://rw22linux5.jura.uni-sb.de/pipermail/urecht/Week-of-Mon-20040823/001708.html

I do not know the legal status of this picture in the US.

It seems that one has to respect the longest copyright term (70 years pma?) which could found worldwide in a national law if he wants to avoid risks.

In the case of US federal government copyright it seems that these works are de facto Public Domain outside of the US because the government has the rights and would not claim them. Right?

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