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January 15, 2024 58 mins

Duke copyright law professor Jennifer Jenkins joins us to celebrate and explain Public Domain Day.  After a twenty-year hiatus, copyrighted works began moving into the public domain in 2019. Now each year, we can re-discover works that are available to be re-purposed by creators without the legal burden of obtaining permission from the former copyright holders. This year, for example, includes works such as The House at Pooh Corner, Millions of Cats, The ThreePenny Opera, and the 800-pound mouse, as Jennifer calls him, Mickey Mouse (as well as Minnie) as seen in Steamboat Willie. Interestingly, in the context of our recent conversation about censorship, Lady Chatterly's Love enters the public domain this year and now can be explored and built upon by everyone. We also discuss Poor Things, the new film paying homage to Shelley's Frankenstein.  Jennifer explains it all in this lively episode: what copyright law is and was, what it covers, why the copyright period was extended, and what you, as a creator, can do with works now in the public domain.  We also get to talk about art, inspiration, Disney, monetization,  plagiarism, creative commons licenses —and even a bit more about Tom Lehrer.

Jennifer's article about Public Domain Day 2024:

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