Navigation

Additional resources for Public Domain Day 2019

History of the “Rolling Wall”

When the U.S. Congress enacted the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 (the “Sonny Bono extension”), it increased the length of copyright protection for all copyrighted works published between 1923 and 1977 from 75 years to 95 years, effectively freezing the expiration of copyright on works published in 1923 for an additional 20 years. On January 1, 2019, the “rolling wall” of copyright expiration will resume, and works published in the U.S. in 1923 will finally move into the public domain.

Notable titles in HathiTrust 1923 digital collection

The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran (contributed by Duke University)

The World Crisis by Sir Winston Churchill (contributed by Indiana University and University of California) (vols. 1 & 2)

A Son at the Front by Edith Wharton (contributed by University of California) 

A Lost Lady by Willa Cather (contributed by University of Michigan)

A few figs from thistles; poems and sonnets by Edna St. Vincent Millay (contributed by Princeton University and University of Michigan)

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde (contributed by University of Virginia and University of California) 

Additional resources

Fleishman, Glenn. “A Landslide of Classic Art Is About to Enter the Public Domain.” The Atlantic. 8 April 2018. Web. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/copywritten-so-do...

Trendacosta, Katharine. “The Public Domain Starts Growing Again Next Year, and It’s About Time.” 15 January 2018. Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Web. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/01/public-domain-starts-growing-again...

Fleishman, Glenn. "For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain." Smithsonian. January 2019. Web. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/first-time-20-years-copyrigh...

Alter, Alexander. "New Life for Old Classics, as Their Copyrights Run Out." New York Times. 29 December 2018. Web. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/29/books/copyright-extension-literature-...

Shepard, Louisa. "Copyright expiration releases works to the world" Penn Today. 30 January 2019. Web. https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/copyright-expiration-releases-works-world

 

Back to full article on U.S. Public Domain Day 2019.