Class of 2013: artists whose work enters the public domain on Jan 1, 2013

Adam from Public Domain Review writes, "The Public Domain Review (a site dedicated to showcasing the most interesting public domain material online) have done a special post on their top pick of artists and writers whose works will, on 1st January 2013, be entering the public domain in those countries with a 'life plus 70 years' copyright term. The list includes the likes of Robert Musil, Bruno Schulz, Grant Wood and Franz Boas. Included in the post is a rather wonderful collage of the chosen few in a graduation class photo!"

Top Row (left to right): Stefan Zweig; Bronislaw Malinowski; Francis Younghusband
Middle Row (left to right): L.M. Montgomery; A.E.Waite; Edith Stein; Robert Musil
Bottom Row (left to right): Grant Wood; Bruno Schulz; Franz Boas; Eric Ravilious

Class of 2013


  1. That has got to be the best graduation group shot I have ever seen.  Imagine partying with that crowd!

    The info about Edith Stein was illuminating. She worked with Husserl and Heidegger and managed to work her way through three different religious viewpoints in one short life. Still got killed for being Jewish by birth, but geez did she pack a lot into her life until then.

  2. L.M. Montgomery, huh? How long before someone does a porn version of Anne of Green Gables that isn’t labeled a parody?

    hey, don’t look at me like that, I didn’t invent Rule 34

    1. Canada is Life+50 years so Anne of Green Gables has theoretically been in the public domain for 20 years now (in Canada and other Life+50 countries). The problem is that Prince Edward Island and L.M. Montgomery’s estate have teamed up to use trademark law to prevent anyone from doing anything with it.

  3. Meanwhile, if we were still using the Copyright Act of 1790’s 14 years with 14 year renewal, the original Star Wars trilogy, Blade Runner, Alien, Neuromancer, and Ender’s Game would all be coming into the public domain or already there.

    1. No need to go that far: without the Bono Act (which was approved under the previous Democratic president…), any work of authorship pre-dating 1962 would have been fair game — that’s *a lot* of stuff we’re missing out on.

      And of course most of the golden age of Hollywood would have already been freed, with “Casablanca” less than five years away. 

      But no, because of the damn mouse, we’ll never get past the early twenties.

  4. This is excellent news, because my favourite painting of all time is Grant Wood’s “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere”, and I can’t find posters of it anywhere. Maybe some will come out next year!

  5. So, does that mean I can do whatever I want with this?

    1. Many years ago I made an animated .gif based on that painting.  I may just have to dust it off and polish it up.

  6. Cory, *please* mention the fact that almost always gets overlooked in these yearly round-ups of what’s entering the public domain: This does not apply to the US. The US is NOT one of those countries that sees a bunch of new works enter the public domain every year.

    In the US, all printed matter published prior to 1923 already is in the public domain.

    All printed matter published between 1923-1963 had to have its copyright manually renewed in the 28th year after publication. If that didn’t happen, that work entered the public domain and is currently there. If copyright was renewed on time, that work is still under copyright and will be for years more. A 1923 work that has its copyright renewed will finally enter the public domain in 2019. Works from 1924 will enter in 2020. And so on.

    Everything published in 1978 or after automatically is copyrighted for the life of the author, plus 70 years. Thus, if someone published a book in 1978, then immediately died, that book will not be in the public domain until January 1, 2049. The “life+70” rule does *not* apply to works published in the US before 1978.

    Nothing new will enter the public domain in the US on January 1.

    You don’t have to take my word for it. See the info from the US Copyright Office, Stanford, and Cornell

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