On January 1, 2019 in the United States, tens of thousands of new works will join iconic pieces such as Katsushika Hokusai's Under the Wave off Kanagawa, pictured above, as a part of the public domain.
Save the date! Please join us on January 25, 2019 for a grand day of celebrating the public domain! Co-hosted by the Internet Archive and Creative Commons, this celebration will feature a keynote address by Lawrence Lessig, lightning talks, demos, multimedia displays and more to mark the “re-opening” of the public domain in the United States. The event will take place at the Internet Archive in San Francisco, and is free and open to the public
The public domain is our shared cultural heritage, a near limitless trove of creativity that’s been reused, remixed, and reimagined over centuries to create new works of art and science. The public domain forms the building blocks of culture because these works are not restricted by copyright law. Generally, works come into the public domain when their copyright term expires. But U.S. copyright law has greatly expanded over time, so that now many works don’t enter the public domain for a hundred years or more. Ever since the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act, no new works have entered the public domain (well, none due to copyright expiration). But for the first time this January, hundreds of books, films, visual art, sheet music, and plays published in 1923 will be free of intellectual property restrictions, and anyone can use them for any purpose at all.
Join creative, legal, library, advocacy communities to celebrate the public domain growing again for the first time in decades, and come network with an amazing lineup of people and organizations who will help us welcome this new class of public domain works. Presenters include Larry Lessig, academic, political activist, and founder of Creative Commons, Corynne McSherry, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Cory Doctorow, science fiction author and co-editor of Boing Boing, Pam Samuelson, copyright scholar, Jamie Boyle, the man who literally wrote the book on the public domain, and many others.
In the evening, the celebration continues as we transition to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts for the World Premiere of Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky’s Quantopia: The Evolution of the Internet, a live concert synthesizing data and art, both original and public domain materials, in tribute to the depth and high stakes of free speech and creative expression involved in our daily use of media. Attendees of our Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain event can get discounted tickets through this Eventbrite.