May 31, 2016

New Material Enters Public Domain (Except in the United States)

Today is Public Domain Day 2016. Here in the U.S. nothing to celebrate. In fact, the lack of material entering the public domain not change until Jan. 1, 2019.

However, elsewhere around the world, it’s a different story.

From an Excellent Center For the Study of the Public Domain Roundup:

Public Domain Day is January 1st of every year. If you live in Europe, January 1st 2016 would be the day when the works of Béla Bartók, Blind Willie Johnson, and Felix Salten enter the public domain.1 The works of Adolf Hitler will also enter the public domain, allowing a team of historians to publish a heavily annotated edition of Mein Kampf with around 3,500 academic annotations intended to “show how Hitler wove truth with half-truth and outright lie, and thus to defang any propagandistic effect while revealing Nazism.”

In Canada, the works of T.S. Eliot, Winston Churchill, and Malcolm X will emerge into the public domain. Canadians can stage their own dramatizations of T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (the basis for the Broadway show CATS), or add the full works of Churchill and Malcolm X to online archives, all without asking permission or violating the law. However, Canadians may have much less to celebrate next year. The recently released Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (“TPP”), if ratified, would require Canada, along with 5 other countries, to add 20 years to its copyright term (expanding the term from 50 to 70 years after the author’s death). This is happening at a time when there is a consensus among academics, economists, and policymakers—including two heads of the United States Copyright Office—that this term is a “big mistake.”

MUCH More in the Complete Blog Post (via CSPD)

See Also: Public Domain Day FAQs

See Also: World Copyright Terms Map

See Also: Public Domain Calculators

See Also: The Public Domain Review

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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