Derivative works, evergreening and copyright freedom to operate
William Patry’s post last week on Infringement and Derivative Works was a nice reminder about some of the issues underlying a topic I posted on back in March – Copyright Evergreening.
In William’s post, he explained how by copying a public domain work which is a derivative work, you may still infringe copyright in the original work (if copyright still exists). (William also explains some US-specific issues relating to registration of copyright , which are worth a read.)
The point is that each work has its own copyright protection, regardless of who made it, where or when, etc, So, how to avoid copyright infringement?
Don’t copy, get a licence, or work your way through the quagmire to sort out what copyright, if any still exists, and what it extends to.
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