The copyright for Anne Franke's diary was due to expire in 2016. To prevent it from falling into public domain, in 2015 the Anne Frank foundation added her father Otto Frank as a co-author. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
The 1947 classic "It's a Wonderful Life" was a box-office flop, and didn't become popular until the late 70's when its copyright expired and TV channels could play it for free. independent.co.uk/arts-en…
Mapmakers used to plant fictitious streets in their maps, so that if a person copied their map, they could point out the replication of the fake street to prove copyright infringement. atlasobscura.com/articles…
Harry Houdini wanted to prevent people from copying his "Chinese water torture cell" trick, but didn't want to patent it, as that would require explaining how it works. So he gave a performance of the trick as a one-act play before an audience of one, and then filed for a copyright on the play smithsonianmag.com/smiths…
The 1963 movie Charade went into public domain immediately upon release because producers omitted the word copyright and its symbol. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha…
Supreme stole their famous box logo from another artist named Barbara Kruger. When Supreme sued another company for copyright infringement of their box logo, Kruger was asked for comment by a Complex editor. Her comment was β€œWhat a ridiculous clusterfuck of totally uncool jokers”. thecut.com/2017/11/i-thin…
Game developer Tengen was able to bypass the NES lock out chip by requesting the console’s patent directly from the US Copyright Office. Once obtained, Tengen created its own chip and released more than 15 unlicensed games for the NES including Ms Pac Man and a version of Tetris. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten…
80% of books published 1924-63 never had their copyrights renewed and are now in the public domain boingboing.net/2019/08/01…
There's no mysterious meaning behind why singer/songwriter The Weeknd has the "e" missing from his stage name. The spelling was altered simply to avoid copyright conflict with a Canadian band called "The Weekend". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
About Agloe, New York. A fictional town that became an actual landmark after mapmakers made up the community as a phantom settlement, an example of a "copyright trap" and was put onto the map in order to catch plagiarism as it appears only on their map and not on any others. theguardian.com/travel/20…
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is copyright protected until 2034. theflg.com/rudolph-the-co…
Unlike Santa's other reindeer, Rudolph is not in the public domain. The character was created for a U.S. department store in 1939. The original story remains under copyright, meaning the character can't be used without permission. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rud…
When Universal Studios purchased the rights to the original Dracula novel, it came to light that author Bram Stoker had not complied with a portion of US copyright law, placing the novel into the public domain. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dra…
Because the USA is unlikely to extend its copyright term again, Disney has been extensively using the "Steamboat Willie" Mickey Mouse in its marketing to keep the character indefinitely protected under trademark law instead lucentem.com/2018/12/05/d…
The USPS mistook a Las Vegas replica for the real Statue of Liberty when creating the Lady Liberty "forever" stamp in 2010, resulting in a $3.5m payout to the replica's sculptor for violating his copyright. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sta…
Thomas Edison produced a film called Fred Ott’s Sneeze, a 5 second film where Fred Ott, one of Edison’s assistants, sneezes. It is the oldest surviving film with a copyright. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fre…
Porn film Debbie Does Dallas is in the public domain due to a missing copyright notice, but the Dallas Cowboys hold veto power on commercial publication of it due to unauthorized use of their cheerleaders' trademarks en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lis…
In 1990, Rick James sued MC Hammer for copyright when Hammer sampled his song β€œSuper Freak” in Hammer’s hit β€œCan’t Touch This” without permission. They agreed to settle out of court and Hammer credited James as a co-composer, James won his first and only Grammy from β€œCan’t Touch This”. vlaa.org/music-sampling-c…
Online recipe blogs come with seven different short stories and 30 personal anecdotes in order to create copyright protections for the recipe being blogged about. Recipes get copyright protections while ingredients lists don’t. Someone else can claim your writing if it’s not unique enough. copyrightlaws.com/copyrig…
Samsung used the movie 2001: a Space Odyssey as a response to Apple's copyright infringement lawsuit regarding iPads, as a similar device was shown in the film. abcnews.go.com/Technology…
JM Barrie granted Peter Pan’s royalty rights in the UK to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and they have been extended into perpetuity by the Copyright Designs & Patents Act since 1988. gosh.org/about-us/peter-p…
Today I learned of Musopen, a non-profit org. that provides high-quality recordings of classical music in the public domain, so that anyone can use them. The project emerged as a response to the big corporations in the music industry that were burying old artists, like Beethoven and Chopin, behind copyright musopen.org/music/
The creator of smiley face got paid just 45 USD to create the iconic yellow smiley face. He didn't copyright his work so never received any royalties for it either. rd.com/article/smiley-fac…
In 1974 the 1946 movie "It's A Wonderful Life" fell into public domain because the studio failed to renew it's copyright. As a result, it was aired a lot, which explains why it became so popular even though it flopped in theaters. The studio got rights to the movie again in 1993 blogs.loc.gov/copyright/2…
In the iconic 'duel of the anthems' scene from Casablanca, the song "Die Wacht am Rhein" was used for the Nazis instead of the actual Nazi anthem; the latter was still under international copyright protection in non-Allied countries, so its use would have prevented the movie's distribution. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cas…
The NFL sent a cease and desist order to an Indiana Church in 2007 for charging admission to a Super Bowl party that was showing the game on a TV larger than 55 inches thus infringing on the NFL’s copyright laws. bowie-jensen.com/2013/01/…
John Fogarty was sued by Fantasy Records for copyright infringement because his song (the 1984 hit "The Old Man Down The Road") sounded too much like CCR's 1970's hit "Run Through The Jungle", a song that Fogarty wrote and produced. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run…
In 2017, the CIA released over 470,000 files that were on Osama Bin Laden's hard drive to the public with the exception of copyright material and some porn. It was found he had Final Fantasy 7, Ice Age, and Resident Evil along with several BBC and CNN documentaries on him. cia.gov/news-information/…
The creators of the album Dispepsi did not use its name, instead using anagrams like "Ideppiss", because they feared copyright infringements lawsuits from Pepsi. However, they started using the actual name after Pepsi lawyers told them they had no problem with that. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dis…
, Joe Montana sued his ex-wife Moses for "violating his 'copyright and privacy rights'" after Moses "sold a bunch of letters and memorabilia from [Montana's] college days at Notre Dame", back in 2008. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe…
In the 90s, "Cheers" lookalike bars were built in airports across the county, complete with animatronic patrons inspired by Norm and Cliff, which triggered George Wendt and John Ratzenberger to sue for copyright and trademark infringement. vinepair.com/articles/air…
Mickey Mouse enters the public domain and loses copyright protection on 1st January 2024. mentalfloss.com/article/5…
In 1998, Disney helped create a copyright law that made sure no movies from 1923 became free to watch and distribute for 20 more years. This copyright law expires on January 1, 2019. arstechnica.com/tech-poli…
Anne Frank's diary entered the public domain the same day as Hitler's Mein Kampf. And that a copyright dispute still swirls around the diary. theverge.com/2016/1/1/106…
Pablo Picasso's son Claude was a photographer in New York City when his father died. At the time, he had experienced a period of estrangement from his father due to his mother's memoir "Life with Picasso". He later established the "Picasso Administration" to look after copyright en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cla…
Warner Music once sued a guy from YouTube, who was defending the company's music made by Katy Perry(dark horse) against a copyright lawsuit, for playing the song on YouTube without a proper copyright. Only to find out the song he played was not Katy perry's, rather the claimant's. youtu.be/KM6X2MEl7R8
The Drew Carey Show Has Only Ever Had Its First Season Released on DVD or Digitally. It Is Unlikely That The Other Eight Seasons Will Ever Be Available to Purchase or Stream Due to Copyright Issues With the Music Used in the Show. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
Copyright on Mickey Mouse will expire on January 1, 2024. Batman, Superman and several Looney Tunes character will enter the public domain between 2031 and 2034. bookriot.com/2019/01/09/b…
17-year-old Kenny Loggins wasn't going to be able to record his song "House at Pooh Corner" because Disney was enforcing their copyright to Winnie the Pooh. Upset, he mentioned this to his girlfriend, only to find out her dad was the president of Disney– he soon got permission. cmt.com/news/1713259/offs…
Due to a copyright issue, George Romero's film Night of the Living Dead is in the public domain, and can be downloaded for free on the internet. It is currently the most downladed film on the Internet Archive, with 3.1 million downloads. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nig…
Sir James Matthew Barrie assigned the copyright in Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. Peter Pan is the only copyright in the UK that has been extended in perpetuity, meaning the Hospital can receive royalties forever. It is the copyright which never grows old. legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/…
Before his death, author J M Barrie’s gave copyrights of his book to the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in 1929. The book was Peter Pan. tkbr.publishing.sfu.ca/pu…
Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech is under copyright. The speech will remain under copyright in the United States until 70 years after King's death, through 2038. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_H…
The King James Version of the Bible is still under copyright in the United Kingdom and the right to publish it is restricted. The copyright is held by the crown. cambridge.org/about-us/wh…
The 1963 movie Charade, starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, entered the public domain immediately upon release due to Universal Pictures failing to actually include the word "Copyright" (or "Β©") in the copyright notice en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha…
Carl Sagan's team wanted to include the Beatles song "Here Comes the Sun" on the Voyager Golden Records (discs containing greetings in 60 languages, music and sounds from Earth aboard both Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977), but the record company EMI, which held the copyrights, declined. latimes.com/books/la-ca-j…
Today I learned about Eric Lundgren who went to prison for a year because he was said to have violated copyrights and counterfeiting Microsoft Windows Restore CD's which he distributed with refurbished PC's. Corporations such as MS, Dell and HP give these discs away for free. youtu.be/Uv_zBYlZJR8
Today I learned about Agloe, New York, a fake village created by mapmakers as a "copyright trap" to catch plagiarists en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agl…
"The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is a cover of a 1939 South African song called "Mbube," recorded in Zulu by Soloman Linda & the Evening Birds. The original is now public domain, but "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," with additional lyrics in English ("In the jungle, the mighty jungle...") is under copyright. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
James Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, gave the Peter Pan copyright to Great Ormond Street Hospital, the leading children's hospital in London, which helped support the institution's work for 70 years after his passing en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._…

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