Originally Posted by Antares
This site seems to explain it fairly well: http://inventors.about.com/od/copyri...expiration.htm In general copyrights expire 70 years after the author's death. I was thinking that it was 75 years since the piece was published, but that's not the case.
I found this statement at the link you provided, and it would seem to apply to a 1973 booklet w/ knitting designs:
Published from 1964 to 1977 - When published with notice - copyright protection lasts 28 years for first term; automatic extension of 67 years for second term for a total of 95 years
So I am translating it to mean that the 1973 booklet of designs will be protected from scanning, copying and sharing until the year 2068.
The paragraph in blue
doesn't stipulate anything about the designer's death.
(edited to add: the death of the designer is mentioned regarding things published after 1978...the leaflet I'm looking into was published in 1973 with a slightly different set of rules...death of designer not relevant)
Of course, the booklet isn't a person, but the designs were created by an individual or a team of individuals. The booklet I'm referring to is a McCalls publication, but I don't suppose that's relevant.
And then there is the teensy few words on that copyright info page that say:
"If not renewed, now in public domain."
So if McCalls renews their copyrights...the lock on the designs will go on until my great-great-great-great-great grandchildren are knitters! In other words, the designs are lost. The original publication has disintegrated and the designs have become dust, and are gone forever. If they cannot be shared electronically for preservation, the hard copies are gone. Done. It's sorta a shame.