I have a question regarding the famous writer Oscar Wilde who died 1900. The company CMG claims copyright to his name, signature, likeliness, photos and so on. But how is this possible since Oscar Wilde died 1900 and now its 2010. The right of publicity extends the copyright up to 100 years after a persons death. So how can it be that there is a company claiming rights after 110 years? His published works are undoubtedly in public domain. But some time ago CMG contacted a print-on-demand-service, declared they have the copyright to use the name Oscar Wilde and demanded that all works using his name are deleted. Now there are all kinds of merchandise articles quoting Oscar Wilde but without naming the author of the quote. This behaviour seems quite bizarre and I wonder if this is illegal what CMG is doing?
I can only think that they have the copyright for longer then 10 years and are so used to have it that they forgot to count the years until it expires ;-)
Is there anything one can do about this claim that other people are not allowed to use the name of Oscar Wilde after 110 years?
Thanks in advance for any comments.