3 Count: Happy New Year

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1: SoccerStreams Throws in the Towel Following U.S. Domain Seizures

First off today, Ernesto Van der Sar at Torrentfreak writes that the popular soccer streaming site SoccerStreams has shuttered following the seizure of its domains by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The seizures were part of a wave of some 55 domains that were shuttered before the FIFA World Cup in December. SoccerStreams was just one of the sites targeted, but it was also one of the biggest names on the list. The site did originally reemerge on a new domain; however, it now appears that they are closing up shop for good.

The move came as a surprise to many that use the site. The team behind it have replaced their homepage with a farewell message that, while acknowledging clone sites may pop up, made it clear that they won’t be by them. It’s uncertain if the legal pressure played a role in this closure, but the timing suggests that it did.

2: Canada Extends Copyright Protection for 20 More Years Under New Trade Obligation

Next up today, Mia Robson at The Canadian Press reports that, in Canada, a new copyright law has taken effect that will extend the copyright on works in Canada another 20 years, bring the country up to the same term used by the United States.

The change was a requirement of the Canada-United States Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), which was signed 2018 with a revised version signed in 2019. The agreement replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was implemented in 1994. The CUSMA required all countries to adopt copyright terms equal to that of the United States by the end of 2022. Canada beat that deadline by a day.

Under the new terms, no new works will enter the public domain in Canada for 20 years. However, the change is not retroactive and any work that is already in the public domain in Canada will remain as such.

3: Happy Public Domain Day! Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse Is Copyright Free

Finally today, Rhea Nayyar at Hyperallergic reports that, in the United States, January 1st marks “Public Domain Day” where all the works that had their copyright expire in 2022 officially lapse into the public domain. This year, that includes such works as Franz Kafkas America, works by M. C. Escher and the final official stories by Sir Author Conan Doyle wrote on the character Sherlock Holmes.

In 1998, the United States passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which extended the copyright term for 20 years. This caused a two-decade lull in new work entering the public domain in the United States, with that lull ending in 2018.

Due to the varying copyright terms and requirements the United States has had over the years, determining whether a piece of content is in the public domain is often challenging. However, the current copyright term is the life of the author plus 70 years in cases of individual authorship and 95 years in cases of corporate authorship.

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