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Q.How long does copyright protection last?

A.Unfortunately it is not always so easy to determine whether a work is still protected by Copyright. This is because the laws have changed over the years and different rules apply depending on the date the work was created and the type of author.

For Works Originally Created On or After January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. In the case of a work created by two or more authors, copyright protection lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author's death. For anonymous and pseudonymous works and works made for hire (a work prepared by an employee within the scope of employment, or a certain type of specially commissioned work), copyright protection lasts for 95 years from the year of first "publication" (distribution of copies to the general public) or 120 years from the year of creation, whichever expires first.

For Works Originally Created Before January 1, 1978, But Not Published or Registered By That Date, copyright protection will last for the life of the author plus 70 years, but in no case will it expire before December 31, 2002. If the work is published before December 31, 2002, the term will not expire until at least December 31, 2047.

For Works Originally Created and Published or Registered Before January 1, 1978 and still in their original or renewal term of copyright, copyright protection will last 95 years from the date that copyright was originally secured.

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