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Old 07-17-2009, 04:04 PM   #1
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Which authors will soon be public domain?

No books will go into the Public Domain in the U.S. anytime soon, however that is not the case for all countries. A few countries, such as Australia, have books go into the public domain 50 years after an authors death.

I'd love to know which books will soon be going into the Australian public domain over the next couple years, and thought others might as well. Anyone interested in compiling a list?

Here are a few authors I know of --

Dashiell Hammett - Jan 2011
Ernest Hemingway - July 2011
William Faulkner - July 2012

Also, in March of this year all of Raymond Chandler's books passed into the Australian public domain (no ebooks on Mobileread yet). James Joyce's Finnegan's Wake (1939) has been in the Australian public domain for a while (also not on Mobileread yet).
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:22 PM   #2
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Note: I mentioned Australia as being a life+50 years public domain country. I guess this changed in 2005, and now they are life+70, but there are plenty of other countries that are life+50.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:22 PM   #3
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Copyrights expire at the end of a calendar year in some places. Australia is now a "Life +70" country but Canada is still +50 see List of countries' copyright length.
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:17 AM   #4
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Asking which authors died 70 years ago is of more relevence to the overwhelming majority of us, who live in "life + 70" countries.

As mentioned before, however, it's only the year of death that is relevant. Books enter the public domain on 1st Jan of the year AFTER the 70th (or whatever) anniversary of the author's death. Eg, on 1st Jan 2010, all works by authors who died during 1939 will enter the public domain in life + 70 countries.
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:16 AM   #5
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Dashiell Hammett died in 1961 I believe, so we have a while to wait before his works are PD even in Canada.

OT: I have an office in the building that inspired Sam Spade's office in The Maltese Falcon. It also houses "John's Grill", which still has "Sam Spade's pork chops" on the menu.
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:26 AM   #6
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Dashiell Hammett died in 1961 I believe, so we have a while to wait before his works are PD even in Canada.
Not too long - only two and a half years. His books will enter the Canadian public domain on 1st Jan 2012. Which is nice for people in Canada, but really of no relevance for most of us. Certainly not for either you or me.
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:27 PM   #7
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2 1/2 years is still a chunk of time to wait.
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:32 PM   #8
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Not too long - only two and a half years. His books will enter the Canadian public domain on 1st Jan 2012. Which is nice for people in Canada, but really of no relevance for most of us. Certainly not for either you or me.
Unless we travel to Canada, I guess.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:41 PM   #9
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Perhaps the Continental Op would pick us up a copy?
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:10 PM   #10
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I'd love to see the Public Domain Enhancement Act passed, it would make the best of a really bad situation in the US.

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Old 07-19-2009, 02:23 PM   #11
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I'd love to see the Public Domain Enhancement Act passed, it would make the best of a really bad situation in the US.

Carl
Yeah, I think that would be a good step in the right direction.

Hmmm... George Orwell is still about a decade away.
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Old 07-19-2009, 03:08 PM   #12
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Let's see, for you Western fans, Zane Grey goes PD in life + 70. Jan 1, 2010.

For you life + 50 people, Raymond Chandler goes PD in Jan 1, 2010.

This gets much murkier, but I will note the Lester Dent goes PD in Life + 50 on Jan 1, 2010. However, legal argument could be made that his Doc Savages were "works for hire" and fall under a different set of rules.

Also, from this Jan 1, James Branch Cabell, is PD in Life + 50.

And on the murky side Henry Kuttner is also PD in Life + 50. However since he wrote in partnership with Catherine L. Moore for much of his work, PD on much of his work is not clear.

This is just off the top of my head....
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:05 PM   #13
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Here are a few that are PD now in PD+50 countries (but not the U.S.)

- F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
- Eugene O'Neill - The Iceman Cometh
- Virginia Woolf - The Waves, To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, A Room of One's Own
- D.H. Lawrence - Lady Chatterley's Lover
- Willa Sibert Cather - Death Comes for the Archbishop
- H.P. Lovecraft - Uhmmm...

Here are a few more that are coming up

- Richard A. Wright (died 1960) - Native Son
- Aldous Huxley (died 1963) - Brave New World
- Robert Frost (died 1963) - poetry
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:09 PM   #14
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>- H.P. Lovecraft - Uhmmm...

As far as I know, though publishers try to deny it, most of Lovecraft's work has already passed into the public domain.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:51 PM   #15
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Wikipedia has a list of his works and many of the publication dates are after 1923. For whatever that's worth.
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