Legal Copyrights- Some history

Here is an interesting blog post on why software giants like google ,microsoft will be rich foroever. And ironically Microsoft has given away the maximum number of free programs, dlls, extensions,patches. When I mean free I mean really free, they did not sell your identity to advertisers .

Back in 1998, representatives of the Walt Disney Company came to Washington looking for help. Disney’s copyright on Mickey Mouse, who made his screen debut in the 1928 cartoon short “Steamboat Willie,” was due to expire in 2003, and Disney’s rights to Pluto, Goofy and Donald Duck were to expire a few years later.

Rather than allow Mickey and friends to enter the public domain, Disney and its friends – a group of Hollywood studios, music labels, and PACs representing content owners – told Congress that they wanted an extension bill passed.

Prompted perhaps by the Disney group’s lavish donations of campaign cash – more than $6.3 million in 1997-98, according to the nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics – Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.

The CTEA extended the term of protection by 20 years for works copyrighted after January 1, 1923. Works copyrighted by individuals since 1978 got “life plus 70” rather than the existing “life plus 50”. Works made by or for corporations (referred to as “works made for hire”) got 95 years. Works copyrighted before 1978 were shielded for 95 years, regardless of how they were produced.

Author: Ajay Ohri

http://about.me/ajayohri

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