Every year on January 1st hundreds of works enter the public domain around the world. So how do we know which works will come of age in 2011?
First off, we can get a rough idea from the data and calculators that are live on our Public Domain Works project:
We are going to be loading a lot more data (e.g. from the British Library and Cambridge University Library) into project very soon, and we also planning to update the calculation code in the light of continued work on the public domain calculators — so watch this space!
To make sure we haven’t missed anyone, we can cross-reference this with bigger lists of notable people (not just creators) who died in 1940, such as one can find on Wikipedia:
This gives us the following basic list of famous creators whose work will enter the public domain in 2011 (in many, but unfortunately not all, jurisdictions):
- Isaac Babel
- Walter Benjamin
- John Buchan
- Mikhail Bulgakov
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Emma Goldman
- Paul Klee
- Selma Lagerlof
- Leon Trotsky
- Vito Volterra
- Nathanael West
There are some links to other potentially interesting figures listed at:
Over the following few weeks we’re going to start planning for Public Domain Day 2011. This will hopefully include the launch of a new site for reviews of public domain works:
If you are interested in doing something for Public Domain Day 2011, please add your ideas to the planning pad and/or join the discussion list at:
Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.