is copyright metadata “suddenly” needed? Because change in copyright law to
base duration on the life of the author rather than counting from the date of
copyright, means that the item itself does not contain the data you need to
figure out if it is under copyright.
originally enacted, the 1976 law prescribed that all visually perceptible
published copies of a work, or published phonorecords of a sound recording,
should bear a proper copyright notice. This applies to such works published
before March 1, 1989. After March 1, 1989, notice of copyright on these works
is optional. Adding the notice, however, is strongly encouraged and, if
litigation involving the copyright occurs, certain advantages exist for
publishing a work with notice.
to March 1, 1989, the requirement for the notice applied equally whether the
work was published in the United States or elsewhere by authority of the
copyright owner. Compliance with the statutory notice requirements was the
responsibility of the copyright owner. Unauthorized publication without the
copyright notice, or with a defective notice, does not affect the validity of
the copyright in the work.