Free stuff! All of these songs, book and movies just hit the public domain on Jan. 1 – National Post

For the first time since 1997, the coming of a new year has introduced an entire library of culture into the public domain in the U.S. Public Domain Days used to be an annual event until 1998, when a new law named after Sonny Bono suddenly extended copyright protections by 20 years. Now, under U.S. law, a song, book or movie doesnt lose its copyright protections for 95 years, or until the creator has been dead for 70 years. (Canadas laws are a bit different, but, as explained below, that may soon change.)

Thus, Jan. 1 was effectively the first time in the age of the modern internet that a massive batch of books, music and movies became free for all. Thousands of new public domain works, all produced in 1923, have been extensively…

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