in the public domain

January 1st was Public Domain Day – the day each year many works pass out of copyright. In the United States, the copyright duration is for the most part life (of the author) plus 70 years. What treasures come to us from authors who died in 1938? Try works of Clarence Darrow and of Popeye creator E.C. Segar (but that last one is tricky, as the spinach-eating sailor himself also has additional years’ protection as a work made for hire). As I perused sites discussing works passing into public domain, I found this blog entry particularly interesting: http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/node/5979 (from Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society). Here’s more information about copyright, if you would like to peruse: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ1.pdf (from the U.S. Copyright Office).

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