What could have entered public domain today?

Imagine that on today, January 1st, 2014, America adhered to copyright laws from the 1970s.  Specifically, pretend that copyright terms are what they were back then.  Then let’s ask, what cultural works would have entered public domain today?

"Curious George Gets a Term Extension"Duke University’s library has already prepared a list.  Selected books include, or would have included:

  • Jack Kerouac, On the Road (completed 1951, published 1957)
  • Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
  • Samuel Beckett, Endgame (“Fin de partie”, the original French version)
  • Margret Rey and H.A. Rey, Curious George Gets a Medal
  • Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel), How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat
  • Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, The Untouchables
  • Northrop Frye, Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays
  • Walter Lord, Day of Infamy
  • Studs Terkel, Giants of Jazz
  • Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley, The Three Faces of Eve
  • Ian Fleming, From Russia, with Love
  • Ann Weldy (as Ann Bannon), Odd Girl Out
  • A.E. Van Vogt, Empire of the Atom

From movies and television:

  • The Incredible Shrinking Man (Based on Richard Matheson’s 1956 book The Shrinking Man)
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai (Best Picture, Best Director (David Lean), Best Actor (Alec Guinness); also starring William Holden, Jack Hawkins and Sessue Hayakawa)
  • A Farewell to Arms (Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones)
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas)
  • 3:10 to Yuma (1957 original starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin)
  • 12 Angry Men (Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Jack Klugman, Ed Begley, and more)
  • Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley)
  • Funny Face (Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire . . . and Paris as only Hollywood can imagine it)
  • An Affair to Remember (Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr . . . and the Empire State Building)
  • Nights of Cabiria (written and directed by Federico Fellini and starring Giulietta Masina)
  • The Seventh Seal (written and directed by Ingmar Bergman and starring Max von Sydow and Bengt Ekerot)
  • “What’s Opera, Doc? “(Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd do Wagner)
  • The first episodes of Leave It to Beaver and Perry Mason
  • Elvis Presley’s third and final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on January 6, 1957 (CBS refused to show his gyrating hips)

How about a new year’s resolution to support the public domain?  For even more virtue, work for copyright reform.

(via HackerNews)

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One Response to What could have entered public domain today?

  1. Pingback: Picture Brides – (1934) – [Public Domain Movies] | mostly music

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