Copyright law in the European Union was harmonised about ten years ago. Generally the position is that copyright in a work lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years from the end of the year of the death of the author. However, this only applies to works that have been published. If the work is published after the death of the author then the copyright lasts for 70 years from first publication. In Britain and Ireland the position used to be 50 years. Following harmonisation some works which had entered the public domain under the 50 year rule came back into copyright because of the standardisation on 70 years.