Mary Greer wrote:Here's from the Wikipedia page on Public Domain:Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:I wonder about your statement "this is retroactive even to formerly public domain works" - I can't imagine that is the case. Once a work goes into the public domain, anybody can use it. What if someone has profited off of their re-use of a public domain item, only to find that someone later re-copyrighted it? Do they owe all the money they made to the new owner, and try to destroy all copies they can find of their use of the formerly public domain work? I think that scenario is too much of a can of worms to be realistic.
"[In some European Union countries] there is a transitory phase in which works that already were out of copyright in one EU country suddenly became copyright protected again in that country on July 1, 1995 because they were still protected in some other EU country."
I read somewhere about how a publisher is then allowed to continue publishing prior public domain works providing they agree to now pay a reasonable amount—which is often nominal.
The more I look into copyright the more crazy it becomes. Furthermore, courts often side with whoever has the most money or clout rather than with the law. For instance, Disney's right to Mickey Mouse and England's copyright extension for Peter Pan (although this is for a good cause).
To make laws like that retroactive would be ex post facto.