If the law is to be understood and obeyed, it must be public information. How can we follow the law if we don't know what it is? This is the astonishingly unfortunate reality for a large number of our nation's laws.
When will Americans, we of middle age, especially, move on? In the absence of new witnesses or of other fresh and vital information, might it make sense to stop our chattering and to open files on the other parts of our lives?
Self-publishing continues its exponential growth. More and more authors are choosing this route for presenting their work to the public. But there is one domain that self-published authors rarely think about: legal issues.
Copyright law gives authors and publishers exclusive rights for a "limited time," to encourage them to create and distribute works. So what is entering the public domain in the U.S. this year? Not a single published work. Why should you care?
In 1948, Twentieth-Century Fox released the Cold War's first anticommunist film, Iron Curtain, the soundtrack of which featured music by Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich. Shostakovich himself never saw the film.
This week the Supreme Court will hear a case concerning what ought to be called "copyright rendition." The plaintiffs are challenging a 1994 law that, for the first time in U.S. history, removed hundreds of thousands of works from the public domain.
It's not enough to revere the best of our film heritage -- we must work to protect and preserve it. With that in mind, I've compiled a short list of public domain titles that I'd like to see brought back to their original glory.