There has been much written about Eliot this year that marks 50 years since his death but I haven't seen much about year 51. Next year his works go into the public domain in a number of countries including Canada. This may mean free access to his works as they get placed on the web.
Anybody have any thoughts on this?
Below is a little bit about Canadian copyrights:
Introduction: Copyright Concerns All Academics
Mark A. McCutcheon, Athabasca University:
Intellectual property (IP) is a subject of concern to all academics because it is the legal-economic infrastructure of all academic work. The long-increasing, now accelerating, and multilateral strengthening of IP regulation does not necessarily serve and in many ways opposes the interests of academics, who are well positioned to intervene critically in the copyfight that embroils their work, a copyfight with implications that extend far beyond academia, from the structure of the Internet to freedom of expression.
This trend of increasing copyright "maximalism" has actually continued, more or less uninterrupted, since Britain first started extending the previously short term of copyright protection (for fourteen years after publication), via legislative bills passed in 1818 and 1842, and since the overdeveloped world started globalising the regulation and enforcement of intellectual property rights, via the Berne Convention of 1896. In Europe and the USA today, the term of copyright protection—that is, the length of time during which a given work remains protected by copyright—now stands at seventy years following the death of the author. In Canada, the term is only slightly shorter: copyright lasts until fifty years after the author's death. Seventy years after the death of the author is a term of protection long enough to amount, in effect, to perpetual copyright, and it's a term long enough to keep most of the cultural archive of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries under a legal lockdown. Canada's term of protection may not seem that much shorter, but it can make a big difference in the composition of the public domain. For instance, all the works of Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and Albert Camus are now in the Canadian public domain, but they are not yet in the US public domain. This difference in the dates at which major authors come into the public domains of these proximate jurisdictions is but one of many such differences in copyright law that mean Canada constantly faces political pressures from the USA and Europe to align its IP law with theirs.
The collaborative Editing Modernism in Canada SSHRC research project is well positioned to produce digital editions of authors who will enter the Canadian public domain twenty years before they enter the US or European public domains; however, the estates which hold copyright in major modernist authors' works have sometimes proven infamously protective and litigious, as in the estates of T.S. Eliot and James Joyce. So jurisdictional distinctions would need to be clarified and enforced in such productions—and in the digital milieu, such distinctions can prove hard indeed to both clarify and enforce.