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.
After an unsolicited $44.6 billion bid by Microsoft to purchase outstanding Yahoo shares on February 1th, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection House, Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) has stated that a confidential briefing will be held with his panel in the coming weeks.
Additionally House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) are holding a February 8th hearing on internet competition.
Microsoft and Yahoo both operate in essentially the same arena: Google’s shadow. A merger between the two companies could bring Google its first real competition in the internet advertising market.
Yahoo is said to still be undecided as to how to proceed forward, CEO Jerry Yang sent a letter to his 14,300 employees stating that "There's obviously been a lot of talk about Yahoo in recent days, and we won't let it distract us from pursuing our transformation strategy" and assuring them that the board is working in "a complex and evolving landscape", with the help of outside advisors. The letter goes on to mention “strategic alternatives”, leading some to believe Yang’s Yahoo is not for sale – voluntarily, anyway.