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The reason why the Great Gatsby is not (yet) publicly known

Copyright laws in America are incredibly complicated, especially for books. Although F. Scott Fitzgerald's great American novel The Great Gatsby was published in 1925, it will not be public until January 1, 2021. Why is that?

In 1976, copyright was passed by Congress Law of 1976, which revised the copyright of 1909. When the law came into force in 1978, it extended copyright protection throughout an author's life, plus 50 years after his death. In another section, it was stated that anonymous works, pseudonymous works and rental works were protected by copyright 75 years after their publication.

Sonny Bono ̵

1; from 1988 to 1992 not only half of Sonny and Cher, but also the mayor of Palm Springs, California and a California Congressman – is a person responsible for the delay of The Great Gatsby is responsible in the public sector. In 1998, the Congress passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which extends the Copyright Act of 1976. The latter found that works such as The Great Gatsby became public domain 75 years after the date of publication. However, the 1998 Act extended the publication date for certain works, namely works published with a copyright notice and renewed copyright, for another 20 years, allowing The Great Gatsby a total of 95 years of copyright protection , (The bill was named after Bono when the law passed the House of Representatives shortly after his death in 1998.) This means that The Great Gatsby – and many other books – only became public domain after publication; in this case, Jan. 1, 2021.

However, Fitzgerald's works prior to 1923 are already included in This Side of Paradise (1920) and The Beautiful and the Damned (1922) public domain.

Gizmodo argues that these copyright restrictions on older books are detrimental to literary history. "Between too long copyright regulations and the uncertainty of the status as public domain, it has become difficult and dangerous to create new works that depend on the common good," they note. "A diminished public domain robs us not only of past works, but also of future works that could be based on an extended public domain."

A study on books put up for sale at Amazon found that books published after 1923 said, "The good news is we can look forward to The Great Gatsby if Congress does not decide to Extend Copyright Law will soon be available to the public.

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