May 23, 2022

Article: “January 1, 2020 is Public Domain Day: Works from 1924 are Open to All”

UPDATED January 23, 2020: On Public Domain (January 1, 2020) “HathiTrust Opened More Than 45,000 Digital Volumes For Full View Reading Access For U.S. Users…13,500 of these Volumes Were Digitized From University of California Libraries’ Collections” (via CDLNews)

–End Update–

From the Center for the Study of the Public Domain/Duke University Law School:

On January 1, 2020, works from 1924 will enter the US public domain, where they will be free for all to use and build upon, without permission or fee. These works include George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, silent films by Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, and books such as Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, E. M. Forster’s A Passage to India, and A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young. These works were supposed to go into the public domain in 2000, after being copyrighted for 75 years. But before this could happen, Congress hit a 20-year pause button and extended their copyright term to 95 years.

Source: Center for the Study of the Public Domain

Now the wait is over. How will people celebrate this trove of cultural material? The Internet Archive will add books, movies, music, and more to its online library. HathiTrust will make tens of thousands of titles from 1924 available in its digital library.

Read the Complete CSPD Post with Highlights of Material that Will Enter the Public Domain Later This Week on 1/1/20

A Look at Some of of the Artists and Writers Entering the Public Domain in Countries Around the World on 1/1/20 (via Public Domain Review)

See Also: Public Domain Day FAQs (via CSPD)

See Also:  Catalog of Copyright Entries (U.S): Registrations From 1924 To 1949

See Also: What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2020?;  Under the law that existed until 1978 . . . Works from 1963

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.