Culture

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
copyright, europe, public domain, us



The US's Public Domain Class Of 2013

from the short-list dept

Every year, we talk about how January 1st is public domain day in many parts of the world, but thanks to constant copyright term extension, the US is left waiting and waiting and waiting -- kind of like the famous play by Samuel Beckett, which entered the public domain in many places around the world in 2011, but is still covered by copyright here.

The folks at the Public Domain Review have put together a nice list (and photo!) of the "Class of 2013": content creators whose works will be going into the public domain on January 1, 2013 in large parts of the world, including the EU, Brazil, Russia and many other places. To help out, I thought I'd put together the list of content creators whose works are entering the public domain in the US in 2013:
Yeah. It looks suspiciously like last year's list. And the year before that. And before that. And so on. Oh, and also... I hate to ruin the surprise, but next year's list? Pretty much the same. Year after that? Yeah, that too. For anyone who actually understands the value of the public domain in enriching and enhancing culture, the fact that the US -- at the behest of the entertainment industry, which has often mined the public domain for its own works -- isn't just shameful, it's downright despicable. We're stifling our own culture.

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  1. icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 1 Jan 2013 @ 8:03am

    I agree. Copyright Law as it stands now is disgusting.

    I share with many here the disgust at the current regime of law. Nothing enters the public domain via expiration, a lot of works are orphaned, and works automatically get 'ed just for existing. It's incredibly inefficient in the 21st century.

    The public domain has become the special option rather than the standard option like it should. Because I love the PD so much, I donated three images to Wikimedia Commons with the CC0 tool. Not only that, I wrote my own "Happy Birthday" song which I also dedicated to the public domain with the CC0 tool. It's too bad that nowadays you have to "opt-out" of instead of "opt-in". :-(

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