Public Domain Day: Copyrights Expire on January 1st
January 1st is “Public Domain Day”.
Public domain means that it is not copyrighted.
In 2004, Canadian Wallace McLean came up with the idea for the public domain.
And American legal scholar Lawrence Lessig spread this to the world.
Thanks to the public domain, a variety of old works are now freely available to anyone.
Basically, every country has a copyright term.
The copyright disappears after a certain period of time has passed since the author died.
In general, in many countries the copyright disappears 50 or 70 years after the author’s death.
For example, the works of writers who died in 1950 will be freely available from January 1, 2020.
January 1st is the day when products that lost their copyright in the previous year will switch to the public domain.
There are several websites in the world that list which works are out of copyright.
Not all works are available worldwide, as public domain management methods vary from region to region.