Talk:Copyright Act of 1976

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I noticed that this does not mention that software can recieve copyright protection (not too hard to believe, as software was virtually unheard of in 1976). I know it can, so did a court case decide that one of the listed subject matters include copyright? Maybe some other reason?

The 1978 law was amended in 1980 to include computer software under the category of "literary works" (Title 17, Sect. 102) and permit certain modifications of computer software (Title 17, Sect. 117). [1] -- 03:09, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Registration & deposit[edit]

The section "Registration & deposit" is a good summary of the R&D provisions of the 1976 Act. However, most of this article is about changes made by the 1976 Act, and the registration and deposit provisions are mostly unchanged between the 1909 Act and the 1976 Act. The only real differences touched on here are :

  1. Under the 1976 Act only registration is (ordinarily) required as a condition of bringing suit, whereas under the 1909 Act, both registration and deposit were required.
  2. Under the 1976 Act, if registration is refused, the copyright claimant is still able to bring suit, so long as the Copyright Office is given notice and allowed to join the suit; this option was not present under the 1909 Act.

The article suggests that the features of the 1976 Act listed here are those that are new to it. I propose to limit it to the differences, or at least make it more clear which features are actually different. Objections? -- TJRC (talk) 01:00, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Transfer of copyright[edit]

Thanks for providing the case citation. I do believe, however, that the mention of this case is rather misleading. First, Pushman applied to an unpublished work, covered by New York State common law, not the federal law. And second, the Pushman decision was overturned by statute in 1966.[2] The 1909 federal copyright act clearly said the exact opposite in its section 27. Lupo 23:29, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

See also Foward v. Thorogood 985 F.2d 604. Lupo 23:35, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm about to go on vacation (no computer access for two weeks!), so I can't really check those links for the time being. What this section of the article seems to be addressing is the commentary on section 202 of the House Report. See H.R. No. 94-1476 at page 124:
As a result of the interaction of this section and the provisions of section 204(a) and 301, the bill would change a common law doctrine exemplified by the decision in Pushman v. New York Graphic Society, Inc., 287 N.Y. 302, 39 N.E. 2d 249 (1942). Under that doctrine, authors or artists are generally presumed to transfer common law literary property rights when they sell their manuscript or work of art, unless those rights are specifically reserved. This presumption would be reversed under the bill, since a specific written conveyance of rights would be required in order for a sale of any material object to carry with it a transfer of copyright.
Pushman was such a minority view, and inherently dealing with unpublished works (and therefore, as you point out, with state copyright) that the present article (and the House Report) is giving it more attention than it deserved. It's only value in the article is to reflect the emphasis that the House Report gave it. Given the NY statutory overruling, was this doctrine anywhere, even outside of NY, by the time the 1976 Act was enacted? TJRC (talk) 00:23, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Have a nice holiday, then! Here's a follow-up question all the same: you've sourced the case name to "Pushman v. New York Graphic Society, Inc., 287 N.Y. 302, 39 N.E. 2d 249 (1942)", but the summary of what that case said is still unsourced. If the summary is based on the case itself, this means you have access to the court order/opinion in that case: would you mind posting it (upload as PDF or whatever)? If not, what's the source for the case summary in our article? (My own comments above were based on some googling around. But I'd really like to know what this case was about precisely. Haven't been able to find the full court documents, though.) Lupo 08:18, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Termination of copyright transfers[edit]

It would be good to see something about the copyright transfer termination sections of this act. That's the right of an author (or their heirs) to essentially reclaim a copyright under certain circumstances, even if they've signed it away "in perpetuity". The Superman article alludes to the termination rights at 56 years for older works, and there are beginning to be news articles about the termination rights at 35 years for works published on or after Jan 1, 1978 (since they'll come due in 2013). -- (talk) 10:23, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

I've been thinking of writing something up about that. Maybe next week. TJRC (talk) 15:17, 11 May 2012 (UTC)


I have removed the cleanup banner after changing the table to an infobox as requested in the banner. I looked at several other laws and at the infoobox instructions, and tried to make sure I correctly copied the information from the table. However, this is my first time using this infobox, so it would be really good if someone with more experience in this area could cross-check my work. I just figured after a year and a half, someone should attempt it.Don Lammers (talk) 21:37, 21 December 2014 (UTC)

Internet radio?[edit]

(First time using Talk; apologies if I'm doing this all wrong). The sections on "Impact on Innovation" and "Impact on Internet Radio" seem out of place. "Impact on Innovation" can be justified, but this section needs fleshed out. "Impact on Internet Radio," seems especially superfluous, given that this is about the 1976 Act, when networked computing was still a novelty. I really want to nix both sections. Thoughts? --Denriguez (talk) 17:39, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

I went ahead and made these changes, changing "Impact on Innovation" to a major heading titled "Criticism," and removing the "Impact on Internet Radio" section altogether. --Denriguez (talk) 16:31, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Hi, you're correct that the 1976 act, as it was enacted, did not cover internet radio. However, the Act has been amended several times, and the Act, as amended, is within the scope of the article. Copyright in the US today, including as it applies to Internet radio, is covered by the Copyright Act as amended.
I wouldn't object to a section Subsequent amendments to make this clearer, where a number of short paragraphs on subsequent amendments, including the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings Act that added the Internet radio provisions, though. I think you make a good point that, as written, it seems to imply this was a provision that was part of the original 1976 enactment.
I might take a stab at it next week if you don't want to take a shot at it first. TJRC (talk) 23:30, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Please, go right ahead. I know enough to know that it's awkward, not necessarily enough to know how best to fix it (aside from removing it until it's better). Thanks for your comments. Denriguez (talk) 20:18, 18 April 2016 (UTC)