It's a Wonderful Copyright Life:

Interesting article by Ron Rychlak on the "Christmas Classic that Almost Wasn't" and how the lapsing of the copyright on "It's a Wonderful Life" allowed the film to become an often-viewed icon--and how its copyright has been reasserted since.

Curt Fischer:
I am probably missing a lot of nuance here, but I find it amazing that it was the nascent popularity of IaWL that led to the copyright holders to begin to reinforce their copyright.

I always thought that it was the copyright holder's duty to police their own IP, but in this case it seems that the copyright was autoenforcing. Weird.
1.3.2009 7:44pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I always thought that it was the copyright holder's duty to police their own IP, but in this case it seems that the copyright was autoenforcing. Weird.
Trademark holders have to police their own marks; copyright holders don't (except, obviously, for the purpose of actually catching infringers).
1.3.2009 8:02pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
As a result, one of the great Christmas films of all time is once again protected by the law -- ironic, considering that it became a classic in significant part because it was legally unprotected. But God works in mysterious ways -- and sometimes the law does, too.
Where is the irony? Yes, the movie was more available when it was in the public domain. Copyright restricts availability. Whena the movie became more popular, there was more reason for someone to want a monopoly on it.
1.3.2009 8:51pm
John Moore (www):
Given the Constitutional intent for Copyrights and Patents, I find it hard to believe that the modern ever-extending copyright is constitutional.

It certainly is stifling.
1.3.2009 9:48pm
athEIst (mail):
Of all the sell-outs of Congress the patent extention is the most egregious. No societal benefit of any kind, and a violation of the promise that after 56 years the work goes into the public domain.
1.4.2009 6:43pm

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