Public Domain Day (January 1, 2017): what could have entered it in 2017 and what did get released

Copyright law is messy, yo. We won't see a lot of notable and important works entering public domain here in the US until 2019.

Other countries, however, got to enjoy many of them first. Public Domain Reviews put a list of creators whose work are entering the public domain for Canada, European Union (EU), and many other countries (https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/class-of-2017/.) For those in EU, nice to see H.G. Wells name there (if UK do withdraw, this might end up not applicable to them. But, my knowledge about UK copyright law is zero, so, who knows.)

As usual, Center of Study for the Public Domain from Duke University put a list of some quite well-known works that are still under the extended copyright restriction: http://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/publicdomainday/2017/pre-1976. Those works would have been entered the public domain if we use the law that was applicable when they were published. I'm still baffled how current copyright hinders research done and published in 1960 to be made available freely. Greedy publishers...

So, thanks to that, USA doesn't get to enjoy many published works yet. "Yet" is the operative word here because we don't know what the incoming administration would do on this topic. Considering the next POTUS is a businessman, I fear the worst. I know: gloomy first of the year thought, but it is what it is.

On a cheerful side, check the list from John Mark Ockerbloom on his Online Books Project. It's quite an amazing project he's been working on.

Of course, there are also writings made available from HathiTrust and Gutenberg Project, among other things.

Here's to the next 365 days.

xoxo