Did you know that a treasure trove of formerly copyrighted works entered the public domain on January 1, 2023? For creative professionals looking to build their businesses or just have fun with some new material, this is a big deal. Let’s explore what kind of works will become available and how they can be used without infringing any copyrights.
New Year, New Possibilities
On January 1, 2023, works from 1927 officially entered the public domain in the US, meaning they can be used, copied, and shared without copyright concerns. This creates new possibilities for creativity, as artists are now able to remix and repurpose these materials without fear of repercussion. For example, an artist could create a modern version of “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” originally composed by Irving Berlin, that combines elements from both jazz music and hip-hop beats—an endeavor outside the scope of traditional copyright law but now completely legal in 2023 under public domain rules.
Other Notable Works Entering the Public Domain in 2023
In addition to “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” works entering the public domain in 2023 include books such as Virginia Woolf’s “To The Lighthouse” and Arthur Conan Doyle’s final Sherlock Holmes stories, films like Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and Alfred Hitchcock’s first thriller “The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog,” and musical compositions by Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller. Other notable works include Willa Cather’s “Death Comes for the Archbishop,” A.A. Milne’s “Now We Are Six,” and the first feature-length film with synchronized dialogue, “The Jazz Singer.” This list is not exhaustive and additional titles from 1927 can be found here.
New works entering the public domain present exciting opportunities for writers, musicians, and artists who want to explore their ideas through remixing existing material and expressing themselves freely within legal boundaries. With so many great works becoming available for reuse in 2023, there has never been a better time to unlock your creative potential. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney.