Magna Carta of Space (1966), new laws for the final frontier

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Published in 1966? That sucks, it falls in that weird period in copyright law, assuming I’m not misinterpreting it which I totally could be, between 1964 and 1977 where the length of a copyright is 95 years. A 10 year old who saw this in 1966 would have to wait till 2061 (at the age of 105) for a freely accessible copy of this book to become available.

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Well when it was published, it received copyright protection in the US for 26 years, renewable for another 26 years…(assuming that it was properly registered in the first place) So it was created and published with the anticipation that it would fall into the public domain in 2018. However, congress has repeatedly extended the copyright on existing works so this work is going to by protected until 2061. (assuming that they they don’t extend the term yet again.How exactly that was supposed “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” is lost on my but apparently the Supreme court thinks that it does.

So according to the law at the time of publication the book could have been released to the public domain in either 1992 (26 years) or 2018 (52 years). That would make the hypothetical 10 year old either age 36 or 62 when it could have been released. I’m thinking about all the people in their 30s with 10 year olds who would love to share the media they remember from when they were 10. I’m sure there are people in their 60s who would love to do same with their 10 year old grandchildren.

If you want to drink deeply from the complications of copyright term in the US fountain.

So, as a terrestrial freeman, do I have the right to He3 pasturage of my Von Neumann machines on such areas of the moon as no other freeman hath upon erected photovoltaic arrays, maglev rails, or any structure granted rights of pressurization by a liege state?


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