1909 vs 1976

The Copyright Act of 1976 has been tweaked over the years, as society has developed in to becoming more technologically advanced and digitalized, but the 1976 Act is the current basis of copyright law in the US. The works created before the 1976 Act, are still effective under the 1909 Act.

The criteria of the 1909 Act for copyright protection was only attached to original works, which were published and had a notice of copyright attached. Therefore, state copyright law governed protection for unpublished works, but published works, whether containing a notice of copyright or not, were governed exclusively by federal law. However, if an original work did not have the notice of copyright attached to the work, and it was published in a legal sense, the 1909 Act could not protect it, and it became a part of public domain. The 1909 law was enforced to help both the creator, but also the public.

However, when the 1976 Act was approved, the results changed. The copyright protection was now supporting works that were original and fixed in a tangible medium of expression, regardless of publication or attachment of the notice of copyright. Since society developed technologically the 1976 Act was necessary, the 1909 Act just didn’t provide the protection needed for advanced work. From 1909 the society went through a technological advancement through usage of television, radio, motion pictures, and sound recordings. Now, the 1909 Act did not make sense anymore, so, the 1976 Act was created. The 1976 Act addressed intellectual property question that now was developed through these new forms of communications.

I think it was very important for the 1976 Act to come in to use instead of the 1909 Act due to the changes in society. When a society becomes more technically advanced, the laws have to follow. Otherwise, people would be taking advantage of the situation, and they would work around the justice system in order to copy other people’s intellectual property.

-Alex Carlbom-

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