Each year on January 1, Public Domain Day is celebrated in many countries around the world – the date where numerous works enter the public domain as their copyright expires (often according to the formula “life of the author plus 70 years”).
See for example this year’s overviews by the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Public Domain Review and COMMUNIA, or the notes by the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University.
For Wikimedia projects that curate public domain works, such as Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource, Public Domain Day means that many works become available to be uploaded under each project’s copyright policies. Community members have already started compiling lists to identify poems, novels, paintings and other works that can now be added to each project’s growing repository of free content.
Happy Public Domain Day, and a Happy New Year!
Tilman Bayer, Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
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