2012 in public domain

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When a work's copyright expires, it enters the public domain. The following is a list of works that enter the public domain in 2012. Since laws vary globally, the copyright status of some works are not uniform. Not all works in the public domain have been expired, some works are deliberately donated into the collection for the public good or have been abandoned by their owners.[1][2]

Entering the public domain in Europe[edit]

In most European nations with the exception of Belarus, copyright law extends for the life of the author or artist, plus 70 years.[3]




Other notable figures[edit]


Entering the public domain in the United States[edit]

In the United States, the copyright status of works extends for the life of the author or artists, plus 70 years.[4][5] If the work is owned by a corporation, then the copyright extends 95 years.[6]

Due to the passing of the Copyright Term Extension Act (Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act) in 1998, no new works will enter the public domain in this jurisdiction until 2019.[7]

In January 2012, the Supreme Court in a 6-2 decision stated that works in the public domain can have their copyright status renewed.[8]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "The Public Domain in Copyright Law".
  2. ^ "Find the Best Free PC Games on These Sites!".
  3. ^ "Billboard Business".
  4. ^ "What Could Have Entered the Public Domain | Duke University School of Law".
  5. ^ http://www.copyright.gov/legislation/s505.pdf
  6. ^ http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2012-06-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Liptak, Adam (19 January 2012). "Public Domain Works Can be Copyrighted Anew, Supreme Court Rules". The New York Times.