Sorry, but I couldn’t come up with a better title for a blog post I know will wander.
One – Books Copyrighted in 1923 are Now
That is, they are no longer copyrighted and are part of the public domain, which means they are free to use and build upon.
Here is a list of the most popular titles:
- Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan and the Golden Lion
- Agatha Christie, The Murder on the Links
- Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis
- e.e. cummings, Tulips and Chimneys
- Robert Frost, New Hampshire
- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
- Aldous Huxley, Antic Hay
- D.H. Lawrence, Kangaroo
- Bertrand and Dora Russell, The Prospects of Industrial Civilization
- Carl Sandberg, Rootabaga Pigeons
- Edith Wharton, A Son at the Front
- P.G. Wodehouse, works including The Inimitable Jeeves and Leave it to Psmith
- Viginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room
Source: Duke Law School’s Public Domain Day 2019
Two – Why This a Big Deal
The U.S. Congress has kept these books in an extended copyright state for the last twenty years. Now they are free. “Google Books will offer the full text of books from that year, instead of showing only snippet views or authorized previews. The Internet Archive will add books, movies, music, and more to its online library.” And that’s just the beginning.
Three – Should Copyright Laws be Changed?
This is a huge issue. Copyright laws, developed in an analog world, struggle to work effectively in our present digital world. We can copy and paste someone else’s work in less than a minute.
Piracy is rampant.
I’m not a lawyer, but I am a writer with many copyrighted works. The copyright is a security blanket for me. I put months, sometimes years into a project, and I don’t want it stolen. If it is stolen I want to be able to do something about it. In short, I want copyright protection. The question is: Is there a more effective way of protecting creative material?
What do you think?