As of 02/01/2021
A long list of artworks that includes Music Records, Movies and Literary works ranging from fiction to autobiographies have been made copyright free. These artworks are now free to enter the public domain. Yes you heard that right.
Every year on the 1st of January the copyrights of a number of artworks expire. Earlier the period fixed for this was 75 years. However in 1998 the Congress extended the duration to 95 years for artworks produced from 1923 to 1977. This means that American artworks published in 1925 have had their copyrights expired this year.
This list includes The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway, Go West of Buster Keaton and TheTrial by Franz Kafka. BBC Culture has even went along to say that 1925 might be the “the greatest year for books ever”. Just imagine, all these mounds of gems can be used revenue free. This means significant fall in the price of printed books and even free if used online.
Copyrights are special privileges awarded to an artist that gives them exclusive rights over their works for a certain period of time. After the expiry of this time it is given to the public where new artists can draw inspiration and hence use them as raw materials. This is how we connect past to the future.
Interestingly Hitler’s Mein Kampf , published in 1925, will also enter the public domain!
You can check the catalog of Copyright Entries here.