Author Topic: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?  (Read 13710 times)

mikey2573

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Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« on: July 15, 2011, 03:47:36 PM »
My understanding is that all of Barrie's works entered PD in the USA in 2007 (70 years after his death) and that they have been in the PD for a number of years in the UK as well. Does this pertain to both PETER PAN works (book and play) and does it pertain to all of Barrie's other works? There seems to be a lot of confusion about this.

AlexanderDavid

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 05:20:59 PM »
If I understand it correctly, the BOOK is in the public domain, whereas the PLAY is still under copyright, which amounts to anything unique to the play (as opposed to what it has in common with the book) being copyrighted.  I could be mistaken, but that might explain why it is that in the US any stage adaptation we're likely to see is not J. M. Barrie's original but the Mary Martin musical....

GOSH

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2011, 10:49:42 AM »
In answer to Mikey2573's question about Barrie's works having entered public domain in the US, the answer is yes and no: some have and some haven't. The Berne convention copyright term of author's life+70 years applies to works published after 1978. Barrie's works would fall into previous US legislation, whereby the copyright term starts from date of publication. Some of his early plays and novels would now be out of copyright, but not the later works such as Mary Rose or The Boy David where the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act apply, with a copyright term of 95 years from date of first publication. The Asquith family therefore still benefit from the Barrie legacy in the US.

In the UK (and the rest of Europe apart from Spain, another exception), all Barrie's works entered the public domain on 31 December 2007.

As far as Peter Pan is concerned, Alexander David is right in saying that the NOVEL is in the public domain (having been published in 1911 and not benefiting from the Sonny Bono Act) but the PLAY is still in copyright until 2023 (having been first published in 1928). However, I don't think this is the reason why the original play is less likely to be staged nowadays, because stage versions such as the Mary Martin musical, the current 360 Entertainment adaptation or even ballet versions are performed under licence by GOSH (or their agents).

My own feeling is that the play is rarely staged because audiences seem to expect something lighter and more 'fun' than the original, which is quite dark in places. In the UK, the pantomime and musical versions are also - sadly in my view - more popular than the straight play.

Hope this helps!

www.gosh.org/peterpan

AlexanderDavid

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2011, 04:56:10 PM »
I guess it's just sour grapes then.  I LOVE Barrie's original, and I HATE the Mary Martin musical, so the fact that you're more likely to see the latter in this country than the former irritates me.

lunar

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2011, 08:32:44 PM »
It's definitely in PD in the US and worldwide including Europe, I'm pretty sure parliamnet extended the copyright again for the UK due to the large amount of money PP raises for GOSH

GOSH

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 09:26:04 AM »
As mentioned above, it is the novel which is PD in the US, but not the play (extending to all stage productions), and Peter Pan is still in copyright in Spain.

In the UK, the copyright itself was revived in 1995 when the EU extended the term to 70 years after author's death, but that expired at the end of 2007 so Peter Pan is now officially PD in the UK too. The Copyright Designs & Patents Act of 1988 didn't extend the copyright, but granted GOSH a right to royalty in perpetuity, which is quite different.

Very confusing, I know!


JAQ

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2011, 01:29:53 PM »
If I understand it correctly, the BOOK is in the public domain, whereas the PLAY is still under copyright, which amounts to anything unique to the play (as opposed to what it has in common with the book) being copyrighted.  I could be mistaken, but that might explain why it is that in the US any stage adaptation we're likely to see is not J. M. Barrie's original but the Mary Martin musical....
It's more a (self-perpetuating) matter of the musical being better-known. In the perception of most people in the US, "Peter Pan" = "a Disney movie" or "a Broadway musical", and Barrie's play and novel are (if they aware of them) just the source material for them.  Much like if you mention Gone with the Wind or The Wizard of Oz or 2001: A Space Odyssey, people will assume you're talking about a film.

AlexanderDavid

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2011, 08:33:09 PM »
If I understand it correctly, the BOOK is in the public domain, whereas the PLAY is still under copyright, which amounts to anything unique to the play (as opposed to what it has in common with the book) being copyrighted.  I could be mistaken, but that might explain why it is that in the US any stage adaptation we're likely to see is not J. M. Barrie's original but the Mary Martin musical....
It's more a (self-perpetuating) matter of the musical being better-known. In the perception of most people in the US, "Peter Pan" = "a Disney movie" or "a Broadway musical", and Barrie's play and novel are (if they aware of them) just the source material for them.  Much like if you mention Gone with the Wind or The Wizard of Oz or 2001: A Space Odyssey, people will assume you're talking about a film.

But...2001: A Space Odyssey IS a film....

In all seriousness, I think I see what you're getting at, but 2001 was always meant to be a film and the novel was only the tie-in.  Also, the book was called The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Sorry to nit-pick, I'm like that....   :-[  But I do see your point.  How many people know the book is called Peter and Wendy, or that the full title of the play is Peter Pan: or, The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up?  Still a shame, though, as I don't want to have to cross the Atlantic just to see the real thing in a theater, and I DON'T want to have to see the Mary Martin musical--seeing it once was enough.

TheWendybird

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 07:57:23 AM »
As god as my witness SOMEDAY i will find a way to put off the original show! The musical is cute but I have so wanted to see the ACTUAL PLAY...but no one does it...so I guess someday I'll have to :) lol

AlexanderDavid

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2012, 03:28:08 AM »
As god as my witness SOMEDAY i will find a way to put off the original show! The musical is cute but I have so wanted to see the ACTUAL PLAY...but no one does it...so I guess someday I'll have to :) lol

No need to bring God into it, I believe you without that....  (I've returned to the Catholic Church over a year ago.  Yay!  :D )

But I don't blame you in wanting to see the original.  I read the script and it was a new experience for me, because it was as if I was seeing it for real--or maybe as if I were part of it myself.  I drew up a comic about it once, making the characters anthropomorphic animals.

And I'm back, by the way.  :)

mikey2573

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 04:24:08 PM »
So, technically,since the BOOK is in the PD, one could do a stage adaption of the book and they would then not have to pay any royalties.  This is what Mabou Mines did when they presented the puppet production of PETER AND WENDY.  It was based on Barrie's book and therefore no royalties were paid for the rights.

Princess.Nimsi

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Re: Is PETER PAN in the public domain?
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2013, 02:34:42 AM »
I love Peter Pan. Barrie had a beautiful gest with the Children's Hospital.