So, it used to be, that 50 years after someone's death their copyright all up and vanished, and you could start ripping them off. You could perform their plays in public, without having to pay anyone. You could cover their songs, royalty free. For some reason, this pissed Sonny Bono off. Maybe he thought he wasn't going to hit that tree. Whatever. In 1998, the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension came into being adding another 20 years. But that still means, in 59 years, you'll be able to do trance versions of 'Come As You Are' without anyone being able to do anything. And in 2047 - that's just 42 years - Paul Oakenfold will no longer have exclusive dibs on crap Elvis mixes. Even cooler, Mickey Mouse'll be up for grabs pretty soon. He was supposed to be ours in 2004, but the Bono extension added to corporate copyright's longer 75 years, giving them 95. Those swine own Winnie The Pooh too, you know. He will be ours again soon. Unless they keep topping up. Which isn't unlikely.

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