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Canada caves in to copyright extension pressure, James Bond is 'safe' again

10-Feb-2015 • Literary

On January 1st 2015, James Bond entered the public domain in Canada, Japan, New Zealand and a few other smaller nations because it had been 50 years since the passing of his creator Ian Fleming. This expiry in the character's copyright opened up the possibility of new, original, works based on the character outside of the official Ian Fleming estate. Countries like the USA, UK and the rest of Europe had previously extended the term to 70 years.

Now Canada and Japan have reportedly fallen to pressure from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The news hit many supporters of freedom of speech to criticize Canada for bowing to the US 'Mickey Mouse' copyright rule, nicknamed such due to Disney's extensive lobbying which caused the US term to grow from 50 to 70 years in the first place.

A rogue publication featuring new original works based on Ian Fleming's character was planned to be released later this year in Canada, but that is now unlikely.

Potential authors looking to exploit James Bond being in the public domain may want to bear in mind that when 2035 rolls around, it is likely that heavyweight intellectual property owners will once again have an extension passed through Congress.

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