Obstacles to Republishing Lieber books
The largest problem is the current Sonny Bono Digital Millennium Copyright
Act, passed not long after Mr. Bono's
death. This bill was backed by the Disney Corporation, eager to protect
Mickey Mouse and others. The current law
is something like 75 years after the death of the original copyright owner.
What this means is that many works are
orphaned; no one knows who if anyone owns the rights to works written by
long dead people with no direct heirs.
The Liebers were childless, and Lillian Lieber died at the age of 99 in1986. So we will all be long dead before her work enters the public domain, at least if the current copyright law is
not amended in some fashion. A very
Postscript. Well, it turns out that someone (not a relative) with
Lillian's trust managed to get her to transfer her rights to her work to him
before her death. Unfortunately not enough details emerged through emails to
report here on this story (whether a happy or sad story), but apparently the
copyright issue was resolved by Paul Dry or three of the books would not be