No More Classics?

Printing-PressFor those of you who like to tap the vast public domain resources of Project Gutenberg, this item from their latest newsletter may be of interest.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP is a secretive effort of nations to agree on a variety of social and economic mechanisms to facilitate commerce.

The TPP negotiations were recently stalled, due to lack of consensus by participants. This is a golden opportunity for users of public domain items, such as are found in Project Gutenberg, to contact your regional and national lawmakers concerning TPP. There is still time!

One major impact of the TPP is to create copyright protection terms of at least 70 years beyond an author’s death date. This would immediately halt growth of the public domain in Japan, Canada and other signatory countries. It would also likely defer new items from entering the public domain in the US.

There is a special article about Canada, which would be greatly impacted by the TPP. Copyright terms would grow from 50 to 70 years, which would essentially halt the growth of the public domain for a generation. Furthmore, the work of Canadians to reform copyright and counterfeiting, internet service provider liability, and patent terms for drugs and other inventions would be undone.

Project Gutenberg is opposed to any extensions to copyright term lengths, and believes the TPP would be bad news for free access to literary works.


I have to point out that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not secret. It is an international organization that has existed for some years. The United States is quite open about its membership and objectives, for example.

However, the rest of the article is correct, including the urging to reach out to your political representatives to raise your concerns.

More on this at the Project Gutenberg blog.

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