Why the Great Gatsby is Still Not in the Public Domain

    Scott Fitzgerald with his wife ZeldaNext week, the cinema around the world will begin showing the new Hollywood blockbuster Great Gatsby. The $ 127 million drama is based on a classic Scott Fitzgerald work published in 1925. This is a classic of American literature, which is held there in every school. The novel takes 2nd place in the list of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century .

    In connection with the film adaptation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published a memo explaining why the novel written almost 90 years ago is still not in the public domain, and what is now happening with copyright in the United States.

    The situation is very strange. Although author Scott Fitzgerald died 73 years ago, and hardly needs an incentive to create new works, The Great Gatsby is still protected by copyright .

    The Great Gatsby will go into the public domain no earlier than January 1, 2021, and then only in the fortunate case if the terms of copyright protection are not renewed again (see the article “ Eternal Copyright Returns ”).

    After the extension of copyright protection terms in 1998, in accordance with the Copyright Term Extension Act , not a single published work in the United States will go into the public domain until 2019.

    Worse, even works that were previously freed from the bonds of copyright due to the expiration of the statute of limitations could be privatized under the new law .

    The Electronic Frontiers Fund draws attention to the negative consequences of the continuous increase in the protection of property rights to copyright works. For example, the effect of the lost 20th century in the history of books is evident , which is associated with a sharp tightening of legislation after 1923.

    At the same time, the United States is quite successfully achieving universal harmonization of regulations in the field of intellectual property protection, so that the terms of copyright protection are extended in other countries.

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