What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2013? Under the law that existed until 1978 … Works from 1956
From The Duke Law School Center for the Study of the Public Domain:
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 1956 would enter the public domain on January 1, 2013, where they would be “free as the air to common use.” Under current copyright law, we’ll have to wait until 2052.
. . . .
What books would be entering the public domain if we had the pre-1978 copyright laws? You might recognize some of the titles below.
- Winston Churchill, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Volume I and Volume II
- Philip K. Dick, Minority Report
- Ian Fleming, Diamonds are Forever
- Fred Gibson, Old Yeller
- Billie Holiday, Lady Sings the Blues
- Alan Lerner, My Fair Lady
- Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey into Night
- John Osborne, Look Back in Anger
- Dodie Smith, 101 Dalmatians
Link to the rest at Center for the Study of the Public Domain and thanks to B.S. for the tip.