Public Domain Day 2009

Mike Linksvayer, January 1st, 2009

Recent link offerings in celebration of Public Domain Day, which is January 1…

Creative Commons Switzerland informs us of a Public Domain Day jam session/brunch in Zurich:

Short English Summary: We will celebrate the public domain day on January 1 in Zurich. We will read, perform, transform works from authors whose work are in the public domain.

Tuesday CC board member Michael Carroll blogged about the meaning and potential of the Digital Public Domain and last month about things made possible by the public domain.

CC board chair James Boyle’s recently published must read book is titled The Public Domain.

LibriVox just reached 2000 recordings of books in the public domain. The recordings are also in the public domain. We noted their 1500 recording milestone in June, 2008. Number 2000 is The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Vol. VI. Listen to all six volumes in 2009!

Watch for much more about the public domain around the world in 2009 and revisit Public Domain Day 2008.

Addendum: Also see PDD2009 posts by John Mark Ockerboom and Elizabeth Townsend on works now in the public domain.

5 Responses to “Public Domain Day 2009”

  1. Djibril says:

    So broadly speaking, most works by authors on this list ( will have entered the public domain today. Any recommendations? Where shall we start?

  2. Djibril, the two PDD2009 links I added to the end of the blog post call out some specific works.

  3. jorel314 says:

    Happy Public Domain Day!

    Check out “Set Free” wiki for a list of notable works dedicated to the public domain.

  4. For (all) authors (around the world) who have died in 1938 and before: their unpublished works are in the public domain in the U.S. (authors from around the world — but you use the works in the U.S.)

    Caveat: if the works were created before 1978 but first published between 1978 and 2002 – the works are under copyright through December 31, 2008. One area to be particularly careful is when unpublished works were microfilmed during this period — this will count in many cases as publication for the additional term of protection (i.e. Mark Twain papers).

    For published works – it continues to be more bleak in the U.S. We (at Tulane Law School) are working on a software tool to navigate through the complex copyright laws regarding the length of the term — we hope to have it up in late January.

    For published and unpublished works in most other countries–with either life + 70 or life + 50 – these works of those deceased since 1938 are now in the public domain.

  5. This might be the first time ever CC has posted about something that doesn’t come directly out of CC before Boing Boing — — they were three days late. However, that post includes a link to another good resource on works now in the public domain, see