Could LEGO lose the rights to Bionicle?

I have heard that part of the copyright deal requires you to publish things with the property every few years, otherwise, you are at the risk of your property becoming public domain (especially if you don’t do anything to protect your rights to it).
So I was wondering, if say, LEGO never releases anymore new products under the Bionicle IP, would that mean that eventually, Bionicle might become public domain? As far as I can see, LEGO has never particularly cared much about defending their IPs they own unless they are active themes, so if those copyright rules work this way, they are bound to lose most of their past IPs (perhaps some of them they have lost already) and Bionicle is definitely included.

If theoretically Bionicle were to become public domain, that would mean fans could create their own movies, videogames, books etc and make money from them, and LEGO would be able to do nothing about it, because they haven’t done anything with their property, and haven’t made any efforts to preserve their rights to it.

I figured this might be an interesting topic to talk about, so I am curious, would it be possible for Bionicle to become public domain if the IP remains unused by LEGO? Or is there something about how the copyright rules work that I am missing?

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i could’ve sworn it took seventy years for something to cross into the public domain

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70 years for individual works, 95 for corporate works (generally speaking, I’m not a lawyer) what you’re thinking of is something like sony’s spiderman shenanigans I assume? they have to make something periodically to keep their license to spiderman, they do not own him, they just have the rights to use him, given to them by marvel, under the stipulation that if they don’t use him periodically he will belong to marvel again. copyrighted IP is different, it doesn’t matter how often you use it, you get your 70 or 95 years, and when they’re up, they’re up, that’s it, no takebacks

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Edited spelling error in title

Would Bionicle fall under the 70 years or 95 years? I assume the latter, since it is a corporate work?
Also, is it this amount of time starting from when the work first debuted, or from when the last thing under it was published? For Bionicle, would that mean 95 years starting from 2001, or from 2016?

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By the looks of it that would be 95 years from 2001… unless Disney lobbies to extend the timeframe again. And even then, it might be literally just the elements of 2001, with elements of other years becoming public domain as they hit the 95 year mark.

EDIT: LEGO might still own the trademark to BIONICLE even if its elements become public domain.

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Once again, I’m not a lawyer, so I could be mistaken about the details, but with the 95 years it’s either 95 after publication or 120 after creation, whichever comes first (oh and also apparently the 70 years is after the creators death) so Bionicle will become public domain in 2096 (theoretically, copyright law has been extended multiple times, it could happen again)

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This also depends on country, by the way.

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Well, yeah, I am American, so I was making some assumptions, if we’re gonna get into international copyright, things are gonna get weird quick

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The Mouse has lobbied copyright law into complete uselessness, so sadly, no, we can’t get public domain bonks within our lifetimes.

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May I ask, how exactly has Disney managed to modify the copyright law? They are just a corporation operating under the US law, they theoretically shouldn’t have had any say in modifying the laws, right?

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The same way anyone else gets the law changed: they asked the people who make laws to change them. They asked very nicely, and with a lot of money.

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I’m chuckling as I say this, but it’s also possible for lego to commit the IP to public domain, and allow anyone to use it, but quite frankly we’re more likely to get a robo-riders reboot, so don’t get your hopes up

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Are there any examples of corporations doing this though? I am pretty sure nobody is gonna be that kind, especially if a popular IP is involved?

I can’t think of a single time this has happened, I just know it can happen.

you don’t seem to understand how much power disney has

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Hahahahahahaha

You forget it’s not the government that writes laws, it’s money

Basically, whenever Mickey Mouse’s copyright is about to run out, Disney lobbies to have it extended. They’ve done this so often over the years that copyright lasts well over a century. It’s absolutely nuts and they’re not going to stop until another party stops them.

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well, i do usually have one for my birthday…
disney, i’m comin’ for ye

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Not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need