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Re: PS documentation file, no sources, author died

In message <[🔎] 4A253AAE.4040902@debian.org>, Giacomo A. Catenazzi <cate@debian.org> writes
Anthony W. Youngman wrote:
In message <20090530071729.GH30552@matthew.ath.cx>, Matthew Johnson <mjj29@debian.org> writes
On Sat May 30 00:21, Rafael Laboissiere wrote:
I would really like to distribute the documentation file but the upstream
author died recently [6] and the chances are small that the sources can
be found.  Is there any rule that applies to this case, I mean, when an
author dies?

Copyright (at least in some important jurisdiction) applies for life +
70 years, so it still applies and would now be held by the author's
Copyright in pretty much ALL jurisdictions (ie not including, iirc, places like North Korea) lasts for a *minimum* of 50 calendar years after creation.

*minimum* ? Not really. Copyrights disappear when there are no
copyright holders (failed bankrupts procedure and lack of heirs,
when public entities doesn't take the assets).

On some countries (like UK, IIRC) there are also "orphaned

Mmmm ...

Then why are so many works disintegrating (I'm thinking of films) because no one knows who the copyright holder is, and no one dares copy them?

And I don't know about other countries, but (a) I've never heard of "orphaned works" in the UK, and (b) certainly in the case of lack of heirs, the state takes everything. I don't know what happens for failed bankrupts, but I guess there is some sort of "residual or worthless assets" rules.

And basically, Berne says copyright is a minimum of 50 years, and Berne applies in pretty much all jurisdictions. So if you don't know who the copyright holder is, you're stuffed.

Anyway these cases doesn't make it GPL compatible.

Of course ...

Anthony W. Youngman - anthony@thewolery.demon.co.uk

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