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wCircular 15a2 15a.0811Duration of CopyrightThe provisions of copyright law dealing with duration are complex. Different standards apply depending on whether federal statutory copyright protection was secured before or on or after January 1, 1978, the date the current law—the Copyright Act of 1976—took effect. In addition, several amendments enacted since January 1, 1978, affect duration. This circular describes the changes to the law that affect duration and gives details about terms of protection for copy-rights secured and renewed on certain dates.Works First Securing Federal Statutory Protection on or after January 1, 1978For works securing federal statutory protection for the first time on or after January 1, 1978, the Copyright Act of 1976, as amended in 1998, establishes a single copyright term and different methods for computing the duration of a copyright. Works of this kind fall into two categories.Works Created on or after January 1, 1978The law automatically protects a work...