As it stands, if you should die, all your intellectual property is in a state of limbo for 75 years. So no one can use or improve upon that Visual Basic application you’ve been working on, benefit from your essays or record your sheet music.
When a work is in the “public domain”, it is not owned or controlled by anyone. It frees any potential user of your work from having to gain the rights to use it, for any purpose. It can be thought of as the opposite of copyright.
According to a January 21st, 2008 statement by Sjoera Nas an EU official, the guidelines are required by any search engine whose services are used by EU citizens. The only search engines not required to follow the directive, are those which use exclusively non-EU languages, such as Japanese, Chinese, etc. Spanish, French, German, and English would all fall under the directive of the law.
The Federal Trade Commission has voted 4-1 to close its investigations of Google's proposed acquisition of DoubleClick. The FTC concluded that the acquisition is not likel to create, enhance, or faciliated market power in violation of the anttiturst statutes.
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