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The year 2019 got off to a sweet start for librarians and copyright nerds as a slew of books, films, and music compositions entered the public domain in the U.S. for the first time in 21 years. The works, which include poetry by Robert Frost and novels by Agatha Christie and Joseph Conrad, are out of copyright, which means anyone can use them without fear of a nasty letter from intellectual property attorneys. The public domain, of course, is not a new concept—it’s what makes works by Shakespeare or Beethoven available to all—but, in the United States, it has been dry since 1998. In that year, Congress passed extending the term of copyright protection by 20 years, meaning the 1923 works t... Full story

10 January