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.
Find Star Wars in copyright! Do you have a favorite Star Wars sequel, game, or toy? They're all derivative works from the original Star Wars movie. Explore the connection between Star Wars and copyright in the exhibit, Find Yourself in Copyright.
Find dance in copyright! In 1952, Hanya Holm was the first person to register a copyright for choreography or dance. Explore the connection between dance and copyright in the exhibit, Find Yourself in Copyright.
Zitkála-Šá was a prolific writer, political activist, and musician, credited as the first Native American to write an opera, The Sun Dance Opera. However, despite her contributions, Zitkála-Šá does not appear on the copyright records for the work.
The Gee's Bend quilters have a rich creative history. Through educational outreach from various organizations, the women of Gee's Bend have learned about copyright and their intellectual property rights.
The Statue of Liberty, officially named Liberty Enlightening the World, is one of the most recognized sculptures ever registered for copyright, and a reminder of the power of copyright-protected works and the inspiration they can provide to all of us.
To celebrate women's history month, I wanted to write about the five women who have served (and are serving) as leaders of the U.S. Copyright Office. Women have led this Office consecutively since November 1993, and their accomplishments are nothing short of incredible. These five lawyers (who all attended either Columbia Law School or George Washington Law) have contributed over 100 years of public service to the Copyright Office, counting all their roles. This blog shows just a snapshot of their accomplishments and contributions to copyright.
As we celebrated the rich cultural contributions of African Americans throughout history, I started exploring creative works inspired by African Americans. Here, three Copyright Office staff members share their stories of creating their own works inspired by works of African Americans.
As the holiday season approaches, consumers purchase many games as gifts. Of all the games I’ve played, Bingo stands out as a favorite. Bingo has a long history—as a game and as a source for many works registered with the Copyright Office. As a teenager, I volunteered at my church’s weekly Bingo game. I either …