What Should Have Entered the Public Domain in 2013?: Philip K. Dick, James Bond, Billie Holiday, Etc

What entered the pub­lic domain in the US in 2013? It’s not a long answer, because the answer is .… noth­ing.

Now here’s a ques­tion that yields a longer answer. What books would have entered the pub­lic domain if we were still oper­at­ing under rea­son­able, pre-1978 copy­right laws? Here’s a lit­tle list that comes from Duke Uni­ver­si­ty’s Cen­ter for the Study of the Pub­lic Domain:

  • Win­ston Churchill, A His­to­ry of the Eng­lish-Speak­ing Peo­ples
  • Philip K. Dick, Minor­i­ty Report
  • Ian Flem­ing, Dia­monds are For­ev­er (a James Bond nov­el)
  • 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

You can also add films to the list, like:

  • Hitch­cock­’s The Man Who Knew Too Much
  • The Searchers (direct­ed by John Ford and star­ring John Wayne)
  • The Ten Com­mand­ments (1956 ver­sion by Cecil B. DeMille, who also direct­ed a sim­i­lar film in 1923)
  • Around the World in 80 Days
  • Godzil­la, King of the Mon­sters!
  • The Best Things in Life are Free

And we should­n’t fail to men­tion that we could have had the first issue of MAD mag­a­zine, with Alfred E. Neu­man grac­ing the cov­er.

In the mean­time, if you’re won­der­ing what will hit the pub­lic domain in 2014, the answer is “noth­ing.” And you can keep repeat­ing that answer until 2019! That’s the next time some­thing new will enter Amer­i­ca’s cre­ative com­mons. Yet one more rea­son Con­gress’ approval rat­ing deserves to sit at 15%.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Lawrence Lessig’s Last Speech on Free Cul­ture. Watch it Online.

Sup­port The Pub­lic Domain Review

Cre­ative Com­mons Announces “School of Open” with Cours­es to Focus on Dig­i­tal Open­ness

 


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.