Copyright Extension and Star Trek

The current crop of writers doesn't really like the core fan base of Star Trek.  The director of the new films, J.J. Abrams, was too philosophical. And the feeling from the fans is largely mutual as the latest movie was voted the worst Star Trek movie ever at a recent convention. The head writer Bob Orsi had some words for these Star Trek fans who didn't like the explosion and action in the Star Trek movie that wasn't about Khan but was in fact about Khan:

 STID has infinetly more social commentary than Raiders in every Universe, and I say that with Harrison Ford being a friend. You lose credibility big time when you don’t honestly engage with the FUCKING WRITER OF THE MOVIE ASKING YOU AN HONEST QUESTION. You prove the cliche of shitty fans. And rude in the process. So, as Simon Pegg would say: FUCK OFF!”

This whole mess would be largely avoided if the Star Trek intellectual property was in the public domain. They'd still probably be making bad Star Trek movies, it just wouldn't be as offensive when there were other options. Big studios wouldn't be the only game in town when it comes to characters and a universe that has been part of people's lives for many years.

If the 1909 Copyright act was still in effect, Star Trek would be in the public domain after 56 years. The original series first aired in 1966, so by 2022 the basics of the original Star Trek universe free to anyone who might be able to do it justice. Under current law, it is in the hands of the current rights holders until at least 2061 and likely longer since copyrights get extended when Mickey Mouse gets close to the public domain due to Disney's lobbyists. 

But Star Trek fans should look on the bright side, if Star Trek ever does enter the public domain the debates over which material is canon will get even more confusing.