While I make no claim to be an expert in copyright law, I have (by necessity) had
to put in some study time to decipher copyright law. For specific questions, each
reader and module builder should consult their family lawyer.
As a Christian, I will follow as exactly as I can all laws respecting copyright.
When questions arise, I will err on the side of caution. Should you find a work stored
on my site you believe to be in violation of US copyright law, please contact me
and let me know why. Should I discover that the work in question is under copyright,
I will immediately remove access to it. All modules stored on this site have already
had due diligence in research performed on them. I’ve not just posted modules, hoping
they’ll be OK.
Here is some important information for users of our site.
- US Copyright Office
- Gospelhall.com’s copyright chart NOTE - this link is sadly offline.
- Wikipedia’s 1998 Copyright Extension Act - sometimes referred to as “Sony Bono” or
“The Mickey Mouse Protection Act”
- Stanford University Copyright Renewal Database - IMPORTANT NOTE: the government copyright
database only goes backward to 1978. The Stanford database has records of all copyright
renewals for works originally copyrigted 1923-1963. Works copyrighted in this time
frame, if not manually renewed, have lapsed into public domain.
- Rutgers University Copyright Renewal Search Form - ditto the Stanford information.
- University of Texas - helpful information on locating copyright holders.
- Copyright vs. Public Domain Flow Chart.
- DoctorDaveT’s Copyright flowchart
- Remember NAFTA? It actually impacted copyright. This is a very good summary on the
general impact of NAFTA on copyright.
Text published in 1922 or earlier is now public domain.
Text originally copyrighted from 1923 through 1963 had an initial 28 year copyright.
If the copyright was renewed prior to lapsing at the end of the 28th year, then it
was granted an extension of 47 more years, for a total copyright length of 75 years.
That extension was lengthened to 67 years for works in copyright in 1998 by The 1998
Copyright Extension Act (see below), for a grand total of 95 years of copyright;
the original 28, followed by 67 more if an extension was granted.
- Works from 1923-1963 are now public domain if the copyright was not renewed.
- A work copyrighted in 1923, if granted an extension, will not become public domain
Texts originally copyrighted 1964-1977 (28 years) were automatically granted an extension
(originally 47 more years, but extended to 67 more years via The Copyright Extension
Act - see below). Therefore a 1964 copyrighted work will not become public domain
Texts copyrighted from 1978 onward were copyrighted for 50 years after the death
of the author. The copyright extension act extended this by twenty years.
The Copyright Extension Act - sometimes called “The Sonny Bono Rule” or “The Mickey
Mouse Protection Act” - passed in 1998. This act of Congress granted an extension
of 20 additional years for copyrighted works that were still in copyright in 1998.
It did not allow works that had lapsed into public domain to regain copyright status.
- texts originally copyrighted in 1923-1963 that were given an extension had the extension
increased from 47 to 67 years thanks to the 1998 Copyright Extension Act, for a total
copyright length of 95 years. Texts originally copyrighted in 1923 and extended will
become public domain in 2019. Texts that did not have their copyright extended could
not regain copyright status.
- texts originally copyrighted in 1964-1977 were automatically granted renewal. Thus
copyright length for this time period is an automatic 75 years, extended to 95 years
by the 1998 Copyright Extension Act. Texts originally copyrighted in 1964 will become
public domain in 2060.
- texts published in 1978 and after now have copyrights tied to the author’s lifetime.
Originally, copyright in 1978 and after was to be “life of author + 50 years.” The
1998 Copyright Extension Act extended this to “life + 70.”
NAFTA/GATT may allow a few works that lapsed into public domain to be “re-copyrighted.”
Those works (when known) will not be stored on this website.
COPYRIGHT PRINCIPLES TO FOLLOW
Defining what is “Public Domain”
1. Texts copyrighted 1922 and earlier are public domain.
2. Texts copyrighted 1923-1963, but not renewed, are public domain. This can be
verified by visiting the Stanford and Rutgers databases mentioned above. If copyright
database lists a work, it is not public domain. We will not host any module, nor
link to any module, that is not public domain (unless we obtain copyright permission).
If you find such a module on our site, please let us know. If we discover that it
is under copyright and distributed without copyright permission, we will remove all
access to the module.
3. In 2019, text copyrighted 1923 and legally renewed will lapse into public domain.
In 2020, text copyrighted in 1924 and legally renewed will lapse into public domain.
This process will continue until 2073, when 1977 copyrights become public domain
& “life + 70” will be the copyright law of the land.
Obtaining Permission for Everything Else - Everything else that we distribute must
include written permission from the copyright holder.
JUST BELOW: a large .pdf chart will load showing the copyright path we follow. Be