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New Year, New Works in the Public Domain

December 31, 2020

As a new (and hopefully better!) year begins, books, musical compositions and other works copyrighted in 1925 will enter the public domain.

Image: Public Domain, Wikimedia

Connecting patrons to digital materials in 2020 had its share of challenges. Items in the public domain, though, were usually available online via The Internet Archive, Hathi Trust, Google Books or other digital repositories. Here are just a few of the titles moving out of copyright in 2021:

Books
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time

Film
Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman
The Merry Widow
Buster Keaton’s Go West
Lovers in Quarantine

Musical compositions
Always, by Irving Berlin
Sweet Georgia Brown, by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard & Kenneth Casey
Works by Gertrude ‘Ma’ Rainey, the “Mother of the Blues,” including Army Camp Harmony Blues (with Hooks Tilford) and Shave ’Em Dry (with William Jackson)

Jennifer Jenkins, Director of Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, provides details and many links to additional resources on the Center’s website. The background information and explanations in Jenkins’ post are helpful, regardless of your level of copyright expertise.

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