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International Public Domain Day 2021: Date, Significance, History Behind Observance of the Day When Copyrights Expire and Works Enter Into Public Domain

International Public Domain Day, celebrated annually on January 1, is observed when copyrights expire and authorised works enter into the public domain. This legal passage of copyright into the public domain usually takes place each year on January 1, based on copyright laws of each country. Public Domain Day is an international event which highlights the fact that many works have become available for the public to reuse. After the legal transition into the public domain, works of the authors become fully available for everyone and one can access them without any need for prior authorisation.

History and Significance of the Day

The legal transition of works into public domain increases the scope for reuse, thereby boosting innovation and creativity. Under the Copyrights protection, the work of the author is preserved until he or she is alive and also for a few years after the author’s death. This period may expand up to seventy years in few countries. After this period, the work of the author is available for everyone to reuse. Initially, the observance of International Domain Day was informal. International Public Domain Day was first mentioned by Canadian public domain activist Wallace McLean, and received credible support from noted American academic Lawrence Lessig, in 2004. International Public Domain Day 2020 Date: History & Significance of the Day When Copyrights Expire And Works Enter into Public Domain.

How is the Day Celebrated

International Public Domain Day is celebrated by various websites that list the authors whose works are entering the public domain on January 1. Events and activities are also planned by various countries around the world and also by several organisations under the banner Public Domain Day. In 2011, Open Knowledge Foundation observed International Public Domain Day by launching The Public Domain Review, a web-based review of works which entered the public domain.

International Public Domain Day 2019 was a significant event in the United States, as several copyrights had expired paving the way for budding artists to extract more material for reuse. Various events were observed in the country, including a special section being dedicated at the MIT Libraries for public domain works. The ‘Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain’ also took place last year at the Internet Archive, amid the presence of Creative Commons members, and officials of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Wikimedia Foundation. Top scholars including Pam Samuelson, Lawrence Lessig and James Boyle witnessed the event.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 01, 2021 07:40 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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