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Public Domain Day

Celebrate Public Domain Day by exploring and sharing works of art, music, literature, and more that are now available to the public!
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When it is?
January 1
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Celebrate the start of a new year with Public Domain Day on January 1! This day marks the beginning of a new cycle where certain works become freely available for use and distribution by anyone. It's an important reminder that copyright and other forms of intellectual property protection do not last forever, as these protections eventually expire so that all may benefit from the cultural contributions of our past. From books to films to music, this is your chance to explore and enjoy all kinds of works that are now in the public domain. So get ready to indulge in some free culture!

History of Public Domain Day

Public Domain Day Dates

Public Domain Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1923</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Works from 1923</div><div class='timeline-text'>Works from 1923 were the first to fall into the public domain, a law that protects intellectual property for a fixed period.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1978</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Copyright Act Revision</div><div class='timeline-text'>The 1978 Copyright Act extended copyright term to 70 years after the author's death, delaying the release of works into the public domain.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1998</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Copyright Term Extension Act</div><div class='timeline-text'>The 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act extended copyright terms in the U.S. even further, delaying Public Domain Day until 2019.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2008</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Beginning of Observance</div><div class='timeline-text'>Public Domain Day began being observed annually on January 1st, highlighting the importance of copyright-free creative works.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2019</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Works From 1923 Released</div><div class='timeline-text'>After a long delay because of law changes, works from 1923 finally entered the public domain in the U.S.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2021</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Recent Public Domain Day</div><div class='timeline-text'>On January 1, 2021, works from 1925 were released into the public domain, including famed works like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s "The Great Gatsby".</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Public Domain Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Share Public Domain works</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Share your favorite public domain works with your friends and family. This could include classic literature, art, music, and more.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Create with Public Domain works</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Make something new with public domain works. Remix classic songs or mash up classic artwork to create something unique.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host a Public Domain movie night</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Invite your friends over for a movie night featuring old classic films that are now in the public domain. Check out websites like The Internet Archive for access to a wide range of films.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Organize a Public Domain scavenger hunt</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Organize a scavenger hunt for your friends and family where they can search for public domain works around your neighborhood or online. It’s a fun way to explore public domain works and to get creative.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit a local library or museum</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Visit your local library or museum and explore the collection of public domain works they have available. You may find something unexpected and interesting!</p></div></div>

Why Public Domain Day is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Public domain day promotes creativity</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>When works enter the public domain, they can be used freely by anyone. This opens up new creative possibilities to artists and creators who may not have otherwise had access to these works. From remixing of classic songs to adapting beloved novels into films or tv shows, public domain day gives new life to existing materials.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It encourages collaboration</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>By making public domain materials widely available, Public Domain Day provides an opportunity for likeminded individuals to collaborate on projects together. Whether it's two authors co-writing a book or two directors teaming up to make a movie, working with previously available materials allows creators to pool their talents and create something bigger than they could have done on their own.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Public domain day helps preserve cultural heritage</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Works in the public domain are part of our collective history, and are often representative of a culture's values or beliefs. By preserving these works, we ensure that the stories and traditions of past generations will live on for years to come. Public Domain Day is an important reminder that our shared cultural heritage should be kept alive and protected for future generations.</p></div></div>

5 Facts About Public Domain Day

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Public Domain Day Celebrates Free Access to Creative Works</h3><p class='facts-text'>Every year on January 1, diverse communities celebrate Public Domain Day, marking the moment when copyrights expire, and books, films, music, and art become freely accessible to the public.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Public Domain Enlarges Every Year</h3><p class='facts-text'>On Public Domain Day, new works enter the public domain. In the United States, this typically means works that were published 95 years earlier.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Work in Public Domain can be Used Freely</h3><p class='facts-text'>Once a work falls into the public domain, it may be freely used without seeking permission or paying any licensing fees.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Not All Countries Celebrate on January 1</h3><p class='facts-text'>Public Domain Day is not standardized globally; different countries have different copyright terms and practices, so works may enter the public domain at different times.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-header'><h3 class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 class='facts-title'>Public Domain is Beneficial for Creativity</h3><p class='facts-text'>The public domain serves as a source of materials that can be adapted, transformed, and re-purposed for new creative works, contributing to creativity, culture, and innovation.</p></div></div>

Public Domain Day FAQs

When is Public Domain Day?

Public Domain Day is celebrated on January 1 every year. In 2024 Public Domain Day will occur on a Monday.

Public Domain Day Dates



Jan 1



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