Not-So-Public Domain


The U.S. Supreme Court, as expected, ruled in favor of Big Entertainment in Eldred v. Ashcroft, the high-profile case about the legitimacy of the Sonny Bono Act of 1998, which extended copyrights by 20 years.

Reports the AP:

A contrary ruling would have cost entertainment giants like The Walt Disney Co. and AOL Time Warner Inc. hundreds of millions of dollars. AOL Time Warner had said that would threaten copyrights for such movies as "Casablanca," "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone With the Wind."

This isn't quite accurate. Yes, had Eldred won, those giants would have lost some of their copyrights. But it's far from clear that they would have lost "hundreds of millions" of dollars. Check out this, this, and this.