Copyrighted Classic Works Enter Public Domain: Enjoy!

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Start of 2020 Ushers Thousands of Once-Copyrighted Works Into the Public Domain

by Katherine J. Wu/Smithsonianmag.com

For the second year in a row, the internet has hit serious digital paydirt in the arena of cultural catch-up. As the decade changed over on January 1, thousands of once-copyrighted works from 1924 entered the public domain. Ninety-five years after their creation, these classics are finally free to use, remix and build upon without permission or payment. (See the full list here.)

Among the liberated are musical compositions like George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” films like Buster Keaton’s Sherlock, Jr. and books like E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India. Now, anyone—from historians to recording artists to iPhone-savvy middle schoolers—can make these works and more their own with annotations, additions and modifications. They can even profit from them, if they so choose.

Above and beyond rehashing old content, the lifting of copyright protections intends to inspire a new generation—not to dwell in the past, but to legally draw from and build upon it, explains Balfour Smith, program coordinator of Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, in a blog post.

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Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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