Friday, August 2, 2013
Wants to Write Sequel to It's a Wonderful Life
flower shop, band and shawlette (who knew?), you should probably rethink your plans for an It's a Wonderful Life eBook sequel. That's because the story on which the film is based is still protected. The copyright for the story was renewed in 1971 and is protected until 2039 (95 years from the date of publication). If you proceed with your plans, the owner of rights -- we presume that's the estate of Philip Van Doren Stern -- could come after you for copyright infringement. It's possible (but unlikely) that your derivative work will be protected under fair use (And authors in similar situations have worked out settlements.). In either case, it would be expensive to prove that you're correct and unless you're sure your work will fly below the copyright owner's radar, it's best to come up with a new idea.