I’m still on a blogging hiatus until my current WIPs are completed and turned in to my agents and editors, but I wanted to pop in here celebrate the creative works that are joining the Public Domain in 2023. And this year’s collection include masterpieces as such The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway, and Irving Berlin’s Puttin’ on the Ritz. Other authors include Agatha Christie, A.A. Milne, and Marcel Proust.

What is Public Domain Day? Every year, on January 1st, the U.S. Copyright Office announces the creative works whose copyrights have expired. Copyrights are determined by individual countries, so you need to check your own country’s rules and regulations regarding copyrighted works. Unfortunately, there will be no new works entering the public domain in Canada as they retroactively extended copyrights from life of the author plus 50 years years to life of the author plus 70 years. So it’ll be another 20 years before we see more works enter Canada’s public domain. Also, this year, no sound recordings will be release in the U.S. The good news is that a bunch will be released in 2024.

Why is the public domain important? Because it means that the works listed below no longer have anyone that holds a copyright to them. So any person can broadcast, consumer, or reimagine these works without having to pay anyone royalties. Public Domain books are free to use, watch, and consume and can be easily distributed. So happy reading, listening and watching!

Complete Lists of Copyright Reversions for 2023:


2023 Public Domain Highlights:

Books:

  • To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf
  • Men Without Women, by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Big Four, by Agatha Christie
  • Now We Are Six, by A.A. Milne
  • Amerika, by Franz Kafka
  • Le Temps retrouvé, by Marcel Proust
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder

Music:

  • The Best Things in Life Are Free, by George Gard De Sylva, Lew Brown, Ray Henderson; from the musical “Good News” 
  • Puttin’ on the Ritz, by Irving Berlin
  • (I Scream You Scream, We All Scream for) Ice Cream, by Howard Johnson, Billy Moll, Robert A. King
  • Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”; “Ol’ Man River, by Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern; from the musical “Show Boat”
  • Potato Head Blues, Gully Low Blues, by Louis Armstrong
  • S’ Wonderful, by George and Ira Gershwin; from the musical “Funny Face” 

Films:

  • Metropolis, by Fritz Lang
  • The Jazz Singer, by Alan Crosland
  • Wings, by William A. Wellman
  • The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, by Alfred Hitchcock 
  • The King of Kings, by Cecil B. Demille
  • Upstream, by John Ford

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