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Happy Public Domain Day 2008!

Submitted by Bernardo Parrella on Wed, 02/01/2008 - 21:54

Today much of the world gets to celebrate Public Domain Day: the day when a whole year’s worth of copyrights (thousands, indeed millions, of creative works from the planet's collective cultural past) enter the public domain for anyone to copy or reuse as they like.

In countries that use the “life plus 50 years” minimum standard of the Berne Convention, works by authors who died in 1957 enter the public domain today. That includes writers, artists, and composers like Nikos Kazantzakis, Diego Rivera, Dorothy L. Sayers, Jean Sibelius, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
In countries that use the “life plus 70 years” term, works by authors who died in 1937 enter the public domain, including works by J. M. Barrie, Jean de Brunhoff, H. P. Lovecraft, Maurice Ravel, and Edith Wharton.
In countries like the US and Australia, which are under 20-year freezes of all or most of the public domain, it’s not quite as momentous a day, while Mexico now has a life+100 years term.

Let's celebrate the gains that the public domain has made today throughout the world. It’s our past, our cultural heritage, our public domain. Promote it, celebrate it, and use it, or we will lose it.

Read more
and browse the whole list of notable works now entering the public domain.

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