This blog post introduces the U.S. Copyright Office’s newest Learning Engine video, “History of Copyright,” which chronicles the history of copyright and the Copyright Office. The Office has released the video, and this blog post, timed with the 234th anniversary of the Congressional bill that eventually became the first federal copyright law.
This year’s Black History Month theme of Celebrating African Americans and the Arts recognizes the impact of Black artists and their creations as well as the significant role of copyright in creative industries. As part of this year’s celebration, we reflect on the legacy of Alice Walker and her book The Color Purple.
Every year on January 1, a new class of creative works enters the public domain in the United States. This year, a variety of works published in 1928, ranging from motion pictures to music to books, joined others in the public domain. The public domain has important historical and cultural benefits in the lifecycle of copyright. Here we highlight a selection of works entering the public domain in 2024.