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When does copyright over Tintin expire?

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jock123
Moderator
#11 · Posted: 16 Oct 2004 09:09 · Edited by: jock123
kirthiboy said:
I had heard someone say that Moulinsart's copyright over Tintin would expire
Sorry to add to such an old thread, but people are talking as if Moulinsart own the copyright to Tintin.

As far as I can tell, they don't.
They have rights to exploit Tintin commercially, but the copyright itself is owned by the Fondation Hergé. If I am right, this is only a minor point, but important, I feel.

It could be that it is the contract between the Fondation (which is non-profit making, educational, charitable etc.) and Moulinsart (which is profit making, commercial etc.) which expires in four years. We know that the relationship between the two entities is virtual symbyosis, as the Rodwells are the driving force behind each, so the chances of an expiry not leading to an automatic renewal must be virtually nil.

However, one cannot set aside the notion that perhaps there may be some practical reason why a contract should lapse, e.g. by forming a new company and granting the rights to them, there might be tax benefits or such – pure speculation, but just a thought to ponder.
jockosjungle
Member
#12 · Posted: 16 Oct 2004 09:21
I thought copyright lasted until 60 years after the author had died? But I think it can be extended

Rik
GurraJG
Member
#13 · Posted: 16 Oct 2004 11:02 · Edited by: GurraJG
Hmmm...

Well, I just looked at the copyright info for The Secret of the Unicorn (Swedish), and it says:

Art Copyright 1946 by Casterman
Copyright Renewed 1974 by Casterman

So, they must have some way of renewing the copyright.

-Gustav
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#14 · Posted: 16 Oct 2004 11:02
Complicated subject. Copyright has many criteria by which it might lapse and the work become public domain. For most of the world, including Belgium, it's 70 years after the author has died, which in this case will be 2054! It's funny jock123 because I was thinking this exact same question myself few days ago! I did a bit of research and I found this site quite helpful as it contains links to the copyright law for every country in the world.
chevet
Belgium Correspondent
#15 · Posted: 16 Oct 2004 15:22
Why 2054 ? Herge died in 1983. 1983 +70 = 2053. It's one year less. For me, it will certainly make a big difference, I'll be 93 years old (instead of 94 !).
jockosjungle
Member
#16 · Posted: 16 Oct 2004 15:35
But does Herge own the copyright on his work?

Rik
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#17 · Posted: 16 Oct 2004 15:57 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
Why 2054 ? Herge died in 1983. 1983 +70 = 2053. It's one year less. For me, it will certainly make a big difference, I'll be 93 years old (instead of 94 !).

But does Herge own the copyright on his work?

I might be wrong but I think that it's authors who died more than 70 years (whether they own the copyright or not) and would be up to, and including, that last year. The copyright would expire the next New Year's day. I'll be 88, a mere spring chicken!
Pelaphus
Member
#18 · Posted: 16 Oct 2004 16:15 · Edited by: Pelaphus
I don't know what the copyright law in Belgium is, nor what enforceable international copyright protections are, but I do know that a number of years ago, a Disney lawsuit changed the whole copyright landscape, and locked up a bunch of their stuff in practical perpetuity, that was presumably coming up on public domain access.

Moulinsart being, in a certain sense, very much like Disney in its protection of the signature characters, the stories and etc., I imagine they'd take advantage of the precedent. Different game now.

Also, why would Spielberg try so hard to make a deal with Moulinsart for Tintin movies if the franchise were to hit public domain in four years? If so, he could do his thing and STILL beat out anybody poised to swoop down on it when the clock ran out.

Bear in mind, Tintin as a CHARACTER may be 75 years old ... but the last Tintin ADVENTURE was published in 1976. And that's only 28 years.

Also, bear in mind, we're not just talking about copyright. We're also talking about TRADEMARKS. Whole different set of laws, dealing with a whole different set of criterea. And, speaking as an American, I am told that in many European countries, Tintin is as ubiquitous and consequential a trademark as Mickey Mouse.

No, I think Tintin will be protected for our lifetimes. At least ...
Pelaphus
Member
#19 · Posted: 16 Oct 2004 16:23 · Edited by: Pelaphus
[Deleted due to unintentional repetition. See revision of this post, above.]
jockosjungle
Member
#20 · Posted: 16 Oct 2004 19:16
I can't wait until I'm 83, I plan to flood the market with my public domain Tintin memoribila.

Rik

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