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Duke Law & Technology Review



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Most of us held off celebrating the beginning of a renewed slow trickle of works into copyright's public domain until the first seconds of New Year's Day, 2019, but (if it hadn't been so early in the day), we would have been entitled to raise a glass at 4:04 PM on the preceding December 27th, when the last substantive business undertaken in 2018 by either house of Congress was concluded in the Senate. (Like the House, which wrapped up its business at 4:02, the World's Greatest Deliberative Body had convened that day at 4:00.) At that moment, a last-minute push to extend copyrights beyond the 20-year bonus terms awarded in the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension became a practical and mathematical impossibility. This was all the more true since no legislation to achieve that result had been introduced in either house during the 115th Congress.



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