Posted Aug 25, 2012 20:42 UTC (Sat) by man_ls
In reply to: Copyright protection
Parent article: Mobile patent wars: Google goes on the attack
IANAL, but I think he is right. And you are right about bizarre situations: the copyright applies to the new copy, but not to the old copy. This is the understanding that I have arrived at about this issue, illustrated by a few examples:
If the copyright for "Steamboat Willie" had expired (something that Disney is unlikely to allow, but bear with me), and Disney publishes a restored version: anyone would be allowed to publish the old version, but not the new one. Disney would tell the world: "Find your own copy!"
We are in the year 2055, the copyright for "Star Wars" has expired. Some Martians try to show one of the endless remasterings and reeditings Lucas has produced during the years on the Earth shuttle; they have to pay royalties. Then they resort to showing the original movie; Lucas doesn't get a dime (and travelers are much happier).
I publish a new translation of "The Idiot" by Dostoievsky. I hold the copyright for my translation, although the copyright for the original is long expired. A translation made in 1905, however, is in the public domain.
These are not hypothetical situations, they arise all the time e.g. in Google Books.
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