nuthinupmysleeve 31st December 2013 09:24 PM What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2014?
Current US law extends copyright for 70 years after the date of the author’s death, and corporate “works-for-hire” are copyrighted for 95 years after publication. But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years – an initial term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years. Under those laws, works published in 1957 would enter the public domain on January 1, 2014, where they would be “free as the air to common use.” (Mouse over any of the links below to see gorgeous cover art from 1957.) Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2053.1 And no published works will enter our public domain until 2019. The laws in Canada and the EU are different – thousands of works are entering their public domains on January 1.
Curious George Gets a Term Extension
What books and plays would be entering the public domain if we had the pre-1978 copyright laws? You might recognize some of the titles below.
Samuel Beckett, Endgame (“Fin de partie”, the original French version)
Jack Kerouac, On the Road (completed 1951, published 1957)
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Margret Rey and H.A. Rey, Curious George Gets a Medal
Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat
Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, The Untouchables
Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays
Walter Lord, Day of Infamy
Studs Terkel, Giants of Jazz
Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley, The Three Faces of Eve
Ian Fleming, From Russia, with Love
Ann Weldy (as Ann Bannon), Odd Girl Out
A.E. Van Vogt, Empire of the Atom