Determining Copyright Status
April 27, 2009 by jmcdonou
Following on the all intellectual property/all the time Play Machinima Law conference, here’s an excellent article by Waheedan Jariwalla (via Peter Brantley) on determining the copyright status of works in the United States. Kind of frightening in its implications for the amount of work involved in determining exactly when something goes out of copyright and when it doesn’t, but it is nice to know that works published before 1978 (within the precise legal definition of published) without a copyright notice fall into the public domain. So, early games which were made available to the public without restriction and without a copyright notice attached qualify as public domain.
This chart by the eminent Peter Hirtle at Cornell provides a useful summary of the same information.