Jennifer Jenkins from the Duke Center for the Public Domain writes, "January 1, 2020 is Public Domain Day! Works published in 1924 are entering the US public domain. They include George Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' and 'Fascinating Rhythm,' silent films by Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, and Thomas Mann's 'The Magic Mountain,' E. — Read the rest
It's been 48 hours since the American public domain expanded for the first time in 20 years, allowing Americans free access to works from 1923, including Cecil B Demille's 1923 epic "The Ten Commandments" (here's 1,000 or so more).
Every year, Jennifer Jenkins and Jamie Boyle from the Duke Center for the Public Domain compile a "Public Domain Day" list (previously) that highlights the works that are not entering the public domain in America, thanks to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which hit the pause button on Americans' ability to freely use their artistic treasures for two decades — a list that also included the notable works entering the public domain in more sensible countries of the Anglophere, like Canada and the UK, where copyright "only" lasted for 50 years after the author's death.
When the USA decided to retroactively extend the term of copyright, it deprived itself of free, open access to important cultural treasures that new creators could build upon as creators have done since time immemorial.
Jennifer Jenkins writes, "What could have been entering the public domain in the US on January 1, 2017? Under the law that existed until 1978 — Works from 1960. The books 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'Rabbit, Run' the films 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'The Time Machine' early episodes of 'The Flintstones' the musical 'Camelot' and more — What is actually entering the public domain this January 1? — Read the rest
In the USA, laws passed in 1976 and 1998 ensure that virtually nothing ever enters the public domain, but it's a different story in the rest of the world — for now, at least.
When Congress amended US copyright law in 1976, they extended the copyrights on works whose creators had produced them with the promise of not more than 56 years. Since then, almost nothing has entered the US public domain.
Jennifer Jenkins writes, "What could have been entering the public domain in the US on January 1, 2015? Under the law that existed until 1978 — Works from 1958. The films 'Attack of the 50 Foot Woman,' 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,' and 'Gigi,' the books 'Our Man in Havana,' 'The Once and Future King,' and 'Things Fall Apart,' the songs 'All I Have to Do Is Dream' and 'Yakety Yak,' and more — What is entering the public domain this January 1? — Read the rest
Jennifer Jenkins from the Duke Center for the Public Domain writes, "What could have been entering the public domain in the US on January 1, 2014? Under the law that existed until 1978 — Works from 1957. The books 'On The Road,' 'Atlas Shrugged,' and 'The Cat in the Hat,' the films 'The Bridge on the River Kwai,' '12 Angry Men,' and 'Funny Face,' the musical 'West Side Story' and the songs 'All Shook Up' and 'Great Balls of Fire,' and more — What is entering the public domain this January 1? — Read the rest
It's Public Domain day again — the day when music, books and movies enter the public domain in countries where copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 50 years (hint: not the USA).
But as John Mark Ockerbloom points out, the list of life+50 countries keeps getting shorter, as more and more countries are arm-twisted into extending their copyright terms by the US Trade Representative. — Read the rest
Jennifer Jenkins sez, "What could have been entering the public domain in the US on January 1, 2012? Under the law that existed until 1978… Works from 1955. Asimov's The End of Eternity, Nabokov's Lolita, the play Inherit the Wind, Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief, Disney's Lady and the Tramp, Rebel Without a Cause, The Seven Year Itch, the music for Blue Suede Shoes and Tutti Frutti, and Laurence Olivier's film version of Richard III… What is entering the public domain today? — Read the rest
January 1 was Public Domain 2009 day — the day on which the works of authors who died in 1938 entered the public domain in most countries. As in previous years, the Public Domain blog has a long and fascinating list of the authors whose works are finally free to be reprinted and spread around the world:
— Read the rest
Some of the more interesting members of the 1938 class of deceased authors include:
Danish bacteriologist Hans Christian Gram (of Gram staining fame)
British-Canadian author, conservationist, and literary fraud Archie Belaney (Grey Owl)
Latvian-born ethnologist and musicologist Abraham Zevi Idelsohn (to whom the lyrics to "Hava Nagila" are attributed)
American cartoonist E.
Michael sez, "It's January 1st! Do you know what works are passing into the public domain in the life+50, and life+70 countries? Lots!
Here in the USA (where basically nothing published in 1923 or later will ever enter the public domain, to protect Disney's 'Steamboat Willie'), only unpublished works of the life+70 class of authors enter the public domain. — Read the rest
CopyrightWatch.ca has a list of creators whose works went into the public domain on Monday. In Canada and other countries where copyright lasts 50 years after death, this means creators who died in 1956. In the US and other life-plus-70 lands, this means creators who died in 1936. — Read the rest
Yesterday marked the turning of the year, and as a consequence, millions of works entered the public domain in Canada and other countries with copyright terms more limited than those in the US.
— Read the rest
Today, January 1, 2004, every unpublished document whose author had died on or before December 31, 1948, has passed from copyright into the public domain in Canada…
Also today, the published works of people who had the good sense to die in
1953 have become public domain in Canada and any other country which
retains the life+50 rule for copyright term.
On January 1, Public Domain Day, a fantastic trove of great works from 1925 are entering the US public domain, free for all to use, remix, and reimagine, including: F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, Buster Keaton's film Go West, the musical composition "Sweet Georgia Brown" by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard, and Kenneth Casey, and my dad's favorite song "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" by Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson. — Read the rest
It's been seven years since we previewed Theft: A History of Music, a comic book that explains the complicated history of music, borrowing, control and copyright, created by a dynamic duo of witty copyright law professors from Duke University as a followup to the greatest law-comic ever published: the book was due out years ago, but the untimely and tragic death of illustrator Keith Aoki delayed it -- until today.
In much of the world, copyright ends 50 years after the creator's death, in some of the rest of the world, it ends 70 years after the creator's death; in the USA, things have stopped going into the public domain until 2019 (unless America decides to retroactively extend copyright…again!).
To commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Statute of Anne, the first modern copyright law, the British Council asked a lot of people with strong ideas about copyright, from the CEO of Random House to the founder of Wikipedia, to remark on what copyright is for and how it might be improved. — Read the rest