Public Domain Safety Zone Advances a Year

POSTED ON January 2, 2019 / IN Documentary Toolkit



Effective January 1, all works first published in the U.S. in 1923 and before will have entered the public domain in the U.S.

For the past 20 years, only works copyrighted before 1923 were assured of public domain status without time-consuming and often inconclusive research.  Starting in 2019,  if you find in a library, attic, or online a copy of an article, book, film or photo that was published in the U.S. before 1924, you can be assured without research that it’s in the public domain in the U.S.

In 2020, the new dividing line will be 1925 (i.e., works published in the U.S. before 1925 will reside in the public domain) and from there forward the dividing line will advance each year — unlike during the past 20 years.

For examples of works entering the public domain at this time visit the Center for the Study of the Public Domain:

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