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Happy Public Domain Day 2012 … except in the US

Happy Public Domain Day! Welcome to the Public Domain Louis Brandeis, James Joyce, Jelly Roll Morton, Virginia Woolf and others. John Mark Ockerbloom has a list of 5 things that we can do in the US to improve access to public domain works.

It’s New Year’s Day again, and in much of the world, this means another year’s worth of works enter the public domain. That’s a cause for celebration, as Europe and many other countries that have “life+70 years” copyright terms welcome works by James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Jelly Roll Morton, and Elizabeth von Arnim into the public domain. The Communia Project’s Public Domain Day website focuses on works by these and many other authors that are entering (in many cases, re-entering) the public domain in “life+70 years” countries. Meanwhile, folks in Canada, New Zealand, and other countries that have held the line at the “life+50 years” terms of the Berne Convention can now freely enjoy the works of people like James Thurber, Ernest Hemingway, and H.D.

There’s not so much excitement about Public Domain Day in the US, where no published works are scheduled to enter the public domain for another 7 years, due to a 20-year copyright extension enacted in 1998.

[HT John Mark Ockerbloom via LISnews!]

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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