As the US Public Domain Expands, 20-Year Pause for the Canadian Public Domain Begins – SPARC

“Festivities are planned on January 19 to recognize Public Domain Day and embrace the possibilities of new works freely available from 1927.

In the United States, the recent declaration of the federal year of Open Science and the White House memo unlocking publicly funded research outputs has buoyed the open community and its outlook on knowledge sharing.

However, the celebration will be muted in Canada where librarians and educators are assessing the impact of a vast expansion of the copyright term. 

Canada’s copyright protection for artistic works was extended as 2022 came to a close from life of the author plus 50 years—to life of the author plus 70 years. The change was the result of international trade negotiations in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), requiring Canada to bring its terms closer to that of the U.S….”

Harm is caused by extension to copyright term in Canada | The Star

“Call it an interminable pause, the extension to the copyright term. The government owes it to the Canadian public to address the harm caused by this.

What seems like a small change to the Copyright Act will have a disastrous impact on Canadian culture over the next 20 years.

The change, which became law on Dec. 30, 2022, extends the standard length of copyright protection in Canada from 50 years to 70 years after the death of the creator of a work.



This means that nothing new will enter the public domain, the vast body of materials in which copyright has expired, until 2043….”

It’s Copyright Week 2023: Join Us in the Fight for Better Copyright Law and Policy

“Last year there were a bevy of bad copyright and copyright-related proposals in the U.S. Because thousands of you spoke up, none of them made it into the year-end, must-pass bills in Congress.

But this week isn’t just about stopping bad proposals. It’s about celebrating positive changes for all of us. It’s about right to repair, fair use, and the public domain….”

Something is afoot with copyright this Public Domain Day | John Naughton | The Guardian

“The interesting thing is that these were originally supposed to enter the public domain in 2003, but as Jennifer Jenkins, director of Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain puts it, “before this could happen, Congress hit a 20-year pause button and extended their copyright term to 95 years”

The mechanism by which this legal heist was implemented was the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act (AKA “The Sonny Bono Act” or “The Mickey Mouse Protection Act” depending on your satirical tastes). In passing it, American legislators were simply continuing business as usual in the intellectual property business….

The issue highlighted by Public Domain Day is not that intellectual property is evil but that aspects of it – especially copyright – have been monopolised and weaponised by corporate interests and that legislators have been supine in the face of their lobbying….”


What’s Entering the Public Domain in 2023? | Arts & Culture| Smithsonian Magazine

“Every year, Jennifer Jenkins, director of Duke University School of Law’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, puts together an extensive list of expiring U.S. copyrights, many of which have a life span of 95 years. (Copyrights in the U.S. are dictated by Congress; Duke provides a helpful guide to the intricacies of copyright law here.)

“Why celebrate the public domain?” Jenkins writes on the center’s website. “When works go into the public domain, they can legally be shared, without permission or fee. Community theaters can screen the films. Youth orchestras can perform the music publicly, without paying licensing fees.”

Besides, she adds, “1927 was a long time ago.” When works from 1927 enter the public domain after a 95-year wait, “anyone can rescue them from obscurity and make them available, where we can all discover, enjoy and breathe new life into them.”

Sherlock aside, we’re getting access to a rich variety of books, songs and films in 2023. Here are a few highlights: …”

The Best Things in Life Are Free: Two Ways to Celebrate Public Domain Day in 2023 – Internet Archive Blogs

“The moon belongs to everyone, so says the 1927 hit musical composition, “The Best Things In Life Are Free.” We agree! In January of 2023, a treasure trove of new cultural works will become as free as the moon and the stars, and we at Internet Archive, Creative Commons and many other leaders from the open world plan to throw a party to celebrate!


Next year, works published in 1927 will join the myriad creative building blocks of our shared culture heritage. The public domain will grow richer with books from authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf, silent film classics like the controversial The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson and Fritz Lang’s dystopian Metropolis, and snappy musical compositions like You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream.

You can welcome new public domain works and party with us two ways: …”

Public Domain Day 2023 | Duke University School of Law

“On January 1, 2023, copyrighted works from 1927 will enter the US public domain.?1? They will be free for all to copy, share, and build upon. These include Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse and the final Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, the German science-fiction film Metropolis and Alfred Hitchcock’s first thriller, compositions by Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller, and a novelty song about ice cream. Please note that this site is only about US law; the copyright terms in other countries are different….”

Canada Steals Cultural Works From The Public By Extending Copyright Terms

We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: it cannot make sense to extend copyright terms retroactively. The entire point of copyright law is to provide a limited monopoly on making copies of the work as an incentive to get the work produced. Assuming the work was produced, that says that the bargain that was struck was clearly enough of an incentive for the creator. They were told they’d receive that period of exclusivity and thus they created the work.

Going back and retroactively extending copyright then serves no purpose. Creators need no incentive for works already created. The only thing it does is steal from the public. That’s because the “deal” setup by governments creating copyright terms is between the public (who is temporarily stripped of their right to share knowledge freely) and the creator. But if we extend copyright term retroactively, the public then has their end of the bargain (“you will be free to share these works freely after such-and-such a date”) changed, with no recourse or compensation.

That makes no sense.

And yet, countries keep doing it.

Canada has quietly done it: extending copyrights on literary, dramatic or musical works and engravings from life of the author plus 50 years year to life of the author plus 70 years.

Quietly on November 17, 2022, and appearing online this morning, an Order in Council was issued on behalf of Her Excellency the Governor General, on the recommendation of the Minister of Industry and the Minister of Canadian Heritage to fix December 30, 2022 as the day Bill C-19, Division 16 of Part 5 comes into force. What does this all mean? With the passing of Bill C-19 this past June, the Copyright Act was amended to extend the term of copyright for literary, dramatic or musical works and engravings to life of the author plus a period of 70 years following the end of the calendar year in which that author dies. What was unclear at the time of royal assent was WHEN exactly this would come into force — if on or after January 1, 2023, one more year of works would enter the public domain. Unfortunately, we now know that this date has been fixed as December 30, 2022, meaning that no new works will enter the Canadian public domain for the next 20 years.

This should be a huge scandal. The public has been stripped of its rights to share information for twenty years. Based on what? Literally nothing, but demands from heirs of deceased authors to continue to receive subsidies from the very public they just stripped the rights from.

It is beyond ridiculous that any country in the world is extending copyright in this day and age, rather than decreasing it.

EU Public repository of Public Domain and openly licensed works

“It will be essential to easily identify works which are not protected by copyright anymore (public domain works) or which can be used freely under open licences. This can be achieved by developing databases that can allow the identification and reference of Public Domain and openly licensed works. Such databases could have an added value by increasing opportunities for the re-use of public domain cultural heritage beyond the scope of Article 17, by making those works and their public domain status more readily available….

This Pilot Project would consist in a feasibility study, to confirm that there is an actual market failure and to confirm the risk of over-blocking such public domain works, as well as to determine the technical needs, including from platforms, and ensure the buy-in from stakeholders. The project would also develop a prototype database that could be used, referenced and augmented by platforms, content providers, institutions of the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) or other non-forprofit organisations working with public domain or freely licensed content. Such public repositories of freely reusable works could help to unlock the societal value of these works, and thereby truly enable access to and promotion of culture, and the access to cultural heritage….”

Kick-off for EU database of public domain works and digital access to scientific works | Patrick Breyer

With yesterday’s budget vote, the EU Parliament approved the funding of two pilot projects in the field of free knowledge initiated by the Pirate Party’s MEP Patrick Breyer in cooperation with civil society.

The first pilot project “Public EU directory of works in the public domain and under free licenses“, is funding a feasibility study for the creation of a database of public domain works. The development of such a database shall provide legal certainty for platforms, providers, galleries, libraries, archives and museums, as well as other non-profit organizations that work with public domain or freely licensed content.

The second project, “The Role of Copyright Laws in facilitation of distance education and research”  intends to strengthen schools, universities and the cultural sector. The pilot project will assess copyright obstacles for online teaching and will focus on possible adaptions to the legal framework in order to enhance an appropriate balance of the interests of the authors and the use for educational and research purposes in the public interest. In addition, public access to culture and education shall be increased, in particular by granting licenses to libraries.



ORCID’s 2022 Public Data File Now Available – ORCID

“ORCID was founded on a set of 10 principles, some of which directly mirror the goals of the Open Access initiative. In particular, our 7th founding principle states: All data contributed to ORCID by researchers or claimed by them will be available in standard formats for free download (subject to the researchers’ own privacy settings) that are updated once a year and released under a CC0 waiver. This is why we publish our annual public data file, as we do each year, usually during Open Access Week. 

Our 2021 data file was downloaded 14,299 times and received one citation. In 2020, the data file contributed to the data visualization that showed the digital footprint of Covid-19 research in an astounding map produced by the Research Graph Foundation. 

The file is available in XML format, however, if you prefer JSON, you can use our ORCID Conversion Library available in our Github repository. This Java application enables the generation of JSON from XML in the default version ORCID schema format.

The data is divided into 12 subsets for easier download and use. The first set contains the full record summary for each record. The other 11 contain the activities for each record, including full work data. We also have an article for those who need help working with bulk data.


We look forward to seeing how the research community will take advantage of this free, open source of data that is an asset to the research ecosystem. Do you have plans to use the public data file? Let us know by contacting us at or Tweet us @ORCID_org to let us know. ”

Coming soon: the next phase of copyright maximalism – destroying the public domain – Walled Culture

“The public domain is the natural state of creative material. It’s where creations end up once copyright’s monopoly has expired. Crucially, it is the quid pro quo for that monopoly. The deal is that the creator of a work is granted a government-enforced intellectual monopoly for a limited period, after which the work enters the public domain for anyone to use for any purpose, including commercial ones. That’s the bargain, but it seems that the copyright maximalists in the French Parliament want to renege on it. Here’s an amendment to a finance bill that was proposed by 75 politicians in the National Assembly a few days ago (translation by DeepL):

The aim of this amendment is to increase aid to artistic creation by setting up a levy on the lucrative commercial use of works in the public domain….

Fortunately, the amendment has been withdrawn – perhaps as a result of the cries of horror from a wide range of organisations and experts. But make no mistake, this will not be a one-off….”