As the absurd andto comment on the Government of Canada’s on how to implement the CUSMA term extension obligation looms, interested parties may wish to note the following.
the an organization not known to embrace the public domain. Nobody would ever suggest that Ms. Pallante is or ever has been a copyleft or user friendly person. Nor would anyone question her distinguished qualifications and expertise.is the former Register of Copyrights in the US Government. When the Register speaks, the world listens. She is now
Perhaps the next great copyright act could take a new approach to term, not for
the purpose of amending it downward, but for the purpose of injecting some
balance into the equation. More specifically, perhaps the law could shift the burden
of the last twenty years from the user to the copyright owner, so that at least in
some instances, copyright owners would have to assert their continued interest in
exploiting the work by registering with the Copyright Office in a timely manner.107 And if they did not, the works would enter the public domain.108
107. If U.S. history with respect to renewal registration of copyright is any indication, very few copyright owners—in this context, heirs and successors in interest rather than the author herself—will actually do so. See U.S. COPYRIGHT OFFICE, STUDY NO. 31, supra note 9, at 220 (stating that, of works registered in 1931–1932, one third of musical compositions, 7% of books and 11% of periodicals had been renewed). In contrast, a 2007 study by Stanford University found that an average of 30.8% of
books published between 1923 and 1963 had their copyright registration renewed. See STANFORD UNIV. LIBRARIES & ACADEMIC INFO. RES., ’23–’64 IMPRINT COPYRIGHT DETERMINATOR: FINAL REPORT 4 (2007), available at http://collections.stanford.edu/copyrightrenewals/files/ FinalNarrative_
108. This should not, as far as I can see, present insurmountable problems under international law. The Berne Convention requires a minimum term of life plus fifty years, defers to member states as to the treatment of their own citizens, and provides the term of protection of the country of origin for the works of foreign nationals. See Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, supra note 2, art. 7. At the same time, copyright owners who choose to assert their continued interests would have the full benefit of the additional twenty years, subject to the requirement of additional registration.
The Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts, Volume 36, No. 3 (2013) p. 337
I wonder whether whoever gave the arguably irresponsible opinion to the responsible Canadian Ministers that requiring registration for the final 20 years of a life + 70 terms “raises serious questions” re Canada’s international obligations was aware of Ms. Pallante’s position that registration for the final 20 years was apparently just fine under international law. Does whoever gave this opinion to Canadian Ministers know more than Ms. Pallante?
BTW, h/t Sean Flynn and Ariel Katz.