[identity profile] thandrak.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
In dealing with Golden Age stuff, where the stories are short and the page count is high, how many pages of a comic can we post? Let's say the story is 8 pages long, and the comic is, say, 60 or so?
Hell, or Seuss? You decide.

Date: 2009-03-20 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kamino_neko.insanejournal.com
Copyright is life of the author + 70 years.

Not the case for comic books, and CERTAINLY not for Golden Age comic books.

That rule (the number's wrong, though - it's currently 95 years, plus the math is wrong - 2008-70 is 1938) applies only to works to which the author holds the copyright. Comic books are generally* work for hire material, the copyright owned by the company that commissioned the work.

Golden Age comics will fall under one of two groups - stuff that was never renewed - and thus fell into PD in the 50s or 60s - and stuff that WAS renewed, so was still in copyright in 1978, but, being work-for-hire, fall under a copyright term starting with publication, not connected to the author's time of death. 75 years from publication, under the 1976 rules, 95 under the current rules (introduced in 1998).

So, anything produced before October 1923 (75 years before the Sonny Bono act came into effect) is out of copyright. And anything produced after that - which didn't fall into public domain due to lack of renewal before the 1976 rules were implemented in 1978 - will start falling into the public domain in 2018. Anything created before 1950 from a company that went defunct before 1977, is possibly, though not guaranteed to be**, in public domain.

* Indies, Underground, and Creator Owned are the exception, not the rule, and, assuming the copyright goes to a person, not a company they created to control the work, fall under the 'author's death+' rule.

** Obviously, the originating company couldn't have renewed their copyright, but somebody could have bought the company's properties, and renewed themselves.


Date: 2009-03-20 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] peur_evol.insanejournal.com
Sharing for free is OK.
From what I understand (because I looked into this, as well), DC owns the rights to Fawcett/Quality/Red circle/etc. CHARACTERS.
So you couldn't publish any SpySmasher stories and sell them.
However, DC does not own the rights to every STORY that was ever published.

Additionally, DC has blatantly raped some golden age defunct publishers; they actually DON'T own Phantom Lady (nobody does). From what I understand, they didn't purchase Hoppy The Marvel Bunny, either, 'tho they've considered him to belong to them as part of the SHAZAM! family.

Just my two cents. I'm taking it that Kamino_Neko is the one with the real booklarnin'.


Date: 2009-03-20 03:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kamino_neko.insanejournal.com
I'm taking it that Kamino_Neko is the one with the real booklarnin'

I should note I'm not a copyright lawyer, or anything of the sort - due to being a lit. major in university, and wannabe writer, I've ended up needing to know something of this stuff, and have read a lot I didn't need just because it's interesting to me, but it's not my speciality.

they actually DON'T own Phantom Lady (nobody does)

And the founder of Americomics is really grumpy about how that whole thing went.


Date: 2009-03-20 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] his_spiffyness.insanejournal.com
Bill Black is kinda grumpy about a lot of things from what I saw on his message board. He went as far as saying that Alan Moore never had an original idea in his life.


Date: 2009-03-20 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashtoreth.insanejournal.com
Well, he is technically a fanficwriter.


Date: 2009-03-20 10:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwalla.livejournal.com (from insanejournal.com)
That's pretty funny coming from a guy whose work is all drawn directly from public domain golden age characters, usually in mild cheesecake form.


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