(Un)Happy Public Domain Day 2016

pdd

Once again, in what has become an annual tradition, it’s time to not celebrate Public Domain Day.

What’s Public Domain Day? Simply put, it’s the day that we recognize the deleterious effects of the changes in copyright law since it was changed in 1978 and subsequently which have kept most of the things that would have gone into the public domain from doing so, and will continue to keep anything new from entering it until at least 2019, and in many cases even longer. This is true for the U.S., though it is not necessarily so in Canada and much of the EU.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about all of this here today, instead referring you to this page for a good explanation of why the situation is the way it is and why all of this matters (or at least should) to all of you and to this page for a good look at what could have been entering the public domain today and isn’t. Take a look, the list may surprise you.

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