You are here

January 1 is Public Domain Day

Published January 1, 2021

While the first day of a new year provides a variety of novelty, some old things become new; notably, copyrighted works from 1925 will finally be entering the public domain giving everyone access and use to literary, film, and musical classics. This year includes F. Scott Fitzgerald and Virginia Woolf's writings, music by the Gershwins, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, and silent films from comedians Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. Works from 1925 were initially supposed to be available in 2001; however, the copyright term was extended by the U.S. Congress to 95 years, making them available for the first time this year. A list of these works is available at the Catalog of Copyright Entries as well as other sites such as the Internet Archive and  Hathi Trust. For further information about the public domain and 1925 works, see Duke Law, Center for the Study of Public Domain.