New To The Public Domain For 2024
January 1st isn't just New Year's Day, it's also the day a new (old) batch of works enter the public domain.
On Monday, copyrighted works from 1928 entered the public domain. According to Duke University's Center for the Study of Public Domain, all these works were supposed to enter the public domain back in 1984, but Congress extended the copyrights twice, adding 40 years to them in total.
2024 is a big year for the public domain in the US, and it's because of Mickey Mouse. Steamboat Willie, the debut of Disney icons Mickey and Minnie Mouse, is now public domain. Naturally, someone wasted no time in announcing a slasher movie based on it (yes, really), similar to when Winnie the Pooh entered the public domain in 2022 (again, yes, really).
Before I get into this entries, I encourage you to check out the article I did for this last year, because it includes some information about U.S. copyright law that might clarify things.
Books and Plays
Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque. Only the original German version is public domain, translations published after 1928 are likely still copyrighted.
Peter Pan; Or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up, by J.M. Barrie. This is the stage play version of the story. The novel version, Peter Pan and Wendy, has been in the public domain for almost 60 years.
The House at Pooh Corner, by A.A. Milne. Like I said earlier, Pooh entered the public domain in 2022, but later books and new characters introduced therein are still copyrighted until those works enter the public domain. In this case, House features the debut of Tigger, so he now joins Pooh in the public domain.
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The original editions of Franklin Dixon's Hardy Boys novels, The Missing Chums, Hunting For Hidden Gold, and The Shore Road Mystery. Reprints remain copyrighted.
Animal Crackers, a musical starring the Marx Brothers. The 1930 movie version is still copyrighted.
Again, public domain.
Still under copyright.
Mack the Knife, by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, from The Threepenny Opera. The original musical, which is in German, also entered the public domain in 2024. Translated versions remain copyrighted.
"The Charleston", by Cecil Mack and James Johnson, to go with the dance of the same name.
"Yes, We Have No Bananas", by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn.
Charlie Chaplin's "The Circus"
I'm looking forward to seeing what becomes public domain next year!
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