Who owns the right to medieval or ancient writings?

So if I understand Walloon’s post and Lolly Gasaway’s handy chart correctly, the U.S. in the past kept copyright running for unpublished works, but abolished it with the 1976 Copyright Act.

So only for ‘old’ works published between 1-1-1978 and 12-31-2002 there is an additional copyright term extending to 2047. For ‘old’ previously unpublished works the U.S. does not grant any copyright protection anymore.

Funny that the U.S. and the EU have a significant difference in this respect. Would have thought that this would have been mutually agreed on.

English lit type geek reporting in, with the Renaisssance starting promptly with Caxton’s introducing printing into England in 1475. In Europe generally, the date is 1455, when Gutenberg printed the first book.

No, wrong.

No, wrong. For an unpublished work, the copyright term is the life of the author plus 70 years. For an unpublished work made anonymously or for hire, the term is 120 years from the date of creation. These terms apply to any unpublished work created before January 1, 1978, and any work created on or after January 1, 1978. In other words, these terms apply to any unpublished work.

Why, yes, yes I am. I am advocating that fans of the work be able to publish their own versions of it so long as they identify it as their work and not the original authors, without getting anyone’s permission to do so, as is the practice in Japan.

A much better and fairer system than the one we have.

Let me correct part of what I wrote above, with apologies to Tusculan. The 1909 Copyright Act stated,

Common law copyright for unpublished works was abolished by the 1976 Copyright Act (effective January 1, 1978), and replaced by statutory copyright limits, the terms of which I described above.

Not to the authors. Don’t they count for something?

The authors in Japan seem happy with the way things work there.