Generally, for published material — literary, dramatic, musical and artistic — work remains in copyright in the U.K., the E.U. and the U.S. until 70 years after the death of the author.
Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works:
- until 70 years after the death of the author
- 70 years from the death of whoever is last to survive of director, screenwriter or composer
Typographic copyright in the printed page:
- for 25 years from publication in that edition, so a recent edition of a long-dead author cannot be freely copied: the publisher has copyright in the typography and layout.
- are protected by copyright for 50 years after they are published or performed (so recordings from before 1954 are in the public domain from 2004)
- for 70 years after a known photographer’s death, or
- 70 years after the publication of the work of an unknown photographer
- as well as the full term of copyright in the material included, there is a 15-year database right: this begins from each time the database is updated
- ALL unpublished material is currently in copyright
- pre-1989 material remains in copyright until 2039
- post-1989 material is copyrighted until 70 years after year of creation
Remember that there may be more than one copyright holder (multiple authors; writer and composer, etc.)