Numlock Sunday: Jennifer Jenkins on the ever expanding public domain
By Walt Hickey
Welcome to the Numlock Sunday edition.
This week, I spoke to Jennifer Jenkins, the director of Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain who wrote January 1, 2023 is Public Domain Day: Works from 1927 are open to all!. Here's what I wrote about it:
As of January 1, all works produced in 1927 are now in the public domain in the United States, including the Virginia Woolf novel To The Lighthouse, the last Sherlock Holmes book, the films Metropolis, The Jazz Singer and Wings, as well as the songs “Puttin’ on the Ritz” and “The Best Things in Life Are Free.” Those are the things that are definitely public domain, but there are potentially many, many more that we just don’t know about; copyright used to come in terms of 28 years requiring renewal, and it’s entirely possible that, given that 85 percent of authors didn’t renew copyright, plenty of works from before 1994 could also be entering the public domain this year. Up north, though, a different picture i…