Copyright laws vary from country to country. In the EC, songs are under copyright for 50 years. So Elvis’ 1954 song, That’s Alright, enters public domain in January.
In the US, due to the 1998 Mickey Mouse Law (at least that’s what I call it), audio copyrights last 95 years, so Elvis’ song won’t be in the public domain here until 2050.
Of course, as Rev. Matt points out this morning on a different issue, the internet changes the marketplace.
The NYTimes article suggests that the most restrictive copyright law nations will likely win. But only if the less restrictive nations cave in to Big Brother.
Speaking of which…
Have a hankering to read Orwell’s 1984? In the US, since Orwell died in 1950, you will have to wait until 2045. But have no fear, go here and read it now, along with Animal Farm, and others. They’re all public domain in Australia, and are freely available at the Australian Project Gutenberg.
By the way, notice the URL: gutenberg.net.au/plusfifty.html