jrincayc writes "It's nearly the end of 2009. If the 1790 copyright maximum term of 28 years was still around, everything that had been published by 1981 would be now be public domain, so the original Ultima and God Emperor of Dune and would now be public domain. If the 1909 copyright maximum term of 56 years (if renewed) still existed, everything that was published by 1953 would now be public domain, freeing The City and the Stars and Forbidden Planet. If the 1976 copyright act term of 75* years (* it is more complicated) still existed, everything published by 1934 would now be public domain including Murder on the Orient Express. But thanks to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act nothing in the US will have it's copyright term expire until 1923 works expire in 2018."