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Disney, Edgar Rice Burroghs, and Copyrights


allthumbs
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i'm perplexed.

 

i was reading a blurb at empireonline.com about John Carter of Mars (by Edgar Rice Burroughs of Tarzan fame) and in the comment section after the article the writer (Roderich) noted that the Burroughs copyright runs out in 2020.

 

he also made a curious statement about the Disney Copyrights. he wrote "...if there is not a new special law (like for Disney)". this inferred some kind of special copyright exemption for Disney.

 

What "special law" is he talking about?

 

Empire is a British based magazine it think, and the "special law" might pertain to the British Isles. however, the writer wasn't specific. perhaps Disney has been given a British exemption in copyright law like J M Barry works (including Peter Pan, which Barry wrote).

 

anyway, maybe it's a US stipulation. so what "special law" and location is being referenced?

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I think the writer is referring to the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, which had substantial backing from Disney who presumably wanted it passed before Steamboat Willie would enter the public domain. (At the time, it was scheduled to fall out of copyright in 2003, but the CTEA changed that so that it won't fall out of copyright until 2048. Unless, of course, Disney get the copyright terms extended again.)

 

My Florida friends tell me that Disney do get some exemptions in Florida law for certain laws that have an exemption for fireworks manufacturers: Disney World is the only one in the state.

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