From 1831 to 1909, the longest a work could remain locked up in copyright, kept out of the Public Domain, was a mere 42 years. In an age when a year can pass with no new works entering the public domain, this timescale might seem inconceivable.
The other day I posted a call to conceive what a Free Culture Utopia, where works entered the public domain after 42 years, would look like. What if everything produced between 1923 and 1973 was available to us? A hundred notes later, what emerged was a long, infuriating list of works that would be free for anyone to use, distribute, and rework as they saw fit in this alternate reality.
This blog is dedicated to continually adding to this list and provide resources for understanding the disastrously, indefensibly impoverished dystopia in which we live.
This is what we’re missing:
The Lord of the Rings
Dark Side of the Moon
The Fantastic Four
Much of The Beatles discography
Everything by Aldous Huxley (most notably Brave New World)
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
A Clockwork Orange. Both the book AND the film.
The Godfather, both the book AND the first film
The Catcher in the Rye.
To Kill a Mockingbird, film and book
The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
2001: a Space Odyssey.
ALL the original Planet of the Apes films
George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”.
The Twilight Zone.
Half the Grateful Dead’s discography.
Goffman’s Asylum, followed three years later by Foucault’s History of Sexuality Vol. 1
In the Court of the Crimson King.
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic.
Lots of Disney (obviously)
American Pie (the song)
The Addams Family
The early reporting on The Watergate Scandal
Porgy and Bess.
And so much more.
Reblog with suggestions to add to the list and enjoy the white hot rage of realizing how much of our birthright has been stolen from us.