2017 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 2017. Since laws vary globally, the copyright status of some works are not uniform.

Entering the public domain in countries with life + 70 years[edit]

With the exception of Belarus, a work enters the public domain in Europe 70 years after the creator's death, if it was published during the creator's lifetime.[1][2] The list is sorted alphabetically and includes a notable work of the creator that entered the public domain on January 1, 2017. This term also applies to unpublished works in the United States (otherwise see below).

Names Country Birth Death Occupation Notable work
Giuseppe Adami Italy Italy 4 February 1878 12 October 1946 librettist Libretti for three operas composed by Giacomo Puccini
Eriks Ādamsons Latvia Latvia 22 June 1907 28 February 1946 writer, poet, translator
Armando Augusto Freire (Armandinho) Portugal Portugal 11 October 1891 21 December 1946 Fado guitarist and composer
Louis Bachelier France France 11 March 1870 28 April 1946 Mathematician
Herbert Baker United Kingdom United Kingdom 9 June 1862 4 February 1946 Architect
Júlio Prestes  Brazil 15 March 1882 9 February 1946 Politician
Helen Bannerman United Kingdom United Kingdom 25 February 1862 3 October 1946 Writer The Story of Little Black Sambo
Granville Bantock United Kingdom United Kingdom 7 August 1868 16 October 1946 composer
James Bernard United Kingdom United Kingdom 11 April 1874 5 March 1946 Elocutionist
Allan Cyril Brooks Canada Canada 15 February 1869 3 January 1946 Ornithologist, illustrator and artist
Charles Despiau France France 4 November 1874 30 October 1946 Sculptor
Manuel de Falla Spain Spain 23 November 1876 14 November 1946 Composer Nights in the Gardens of Spain, Ritual Fire Dance
W. C. Fields United States United States 29 January 1880 25 December 1946 Writer
Jane Findlater United Kingdom United Kingdom 4 November 1866 20 May 1946 Writer
Dion Fortune United Kingdom United Kingdom 6 December 1890 6 January 1946 Writer and occultist The Demon Lover, The Winged Bull, The Goat-Foot God, The Sea Priestess
Wanda Gág United States United States 11 March 1893 27 June 1946 Children’s book author, artist, translator and illustrator Millions of Cats
Gerhart Hauptmann Germany Germany 15 November 1862 6 June 1946 Writer, Nobel Prize laureate The Weavers, Bahnwärter Thiel (De)
Patty Hill United States United States 27 March 1868 25 May 1946 Songwriter Happy Birthday to You (with sister Mildred J. Hill, who predeceased her)
Violet Jacob United Kingdom United Kingdom 1 September 1863 9 September 1946 Writer and poet
John Maynard Keynes United Kingdom United Kingdom 5 June 1883 21 April 1946 Economist A Treatise on Money
Hermann von Keyserling Germany Germany 20 July 1880 26 April 1946 Philosopher
Otis Adelbert Kline United States United States 1 July 1891 24 October 1946 Literary agent and science fiction writer
Paul Langevin France France 21 January 1872 19 December 1946 Physicist
Henri Le Fauconnier France France 1881 1946 Painter
Józef Mehoffer Poland Poland 19 March 1869 8 July 1946 Painter and decorative artist
Adolph de Meyer France France 9 January 1868 6 January 1946 Photographer
László Moholy-Nagy Hungary Hungary 20 July 1895 24 November 1946 Painter and photographer Light-Space Modulator
Paul Nash United Kingdom United Kingdom 11 May 1889 11 July 1946 Painter/photographer
Mikhail Nesterov Russia Russia 31 May 1862 18 October 1942[3] Painter
Feliks Nowowiejski Poland Poland 7 February 1877 18 January 1946 Composer Rota (music)
Damon Runyon United States United States 4 October 1880 10 December 1946 Writer and newspaperman
Abel Salazar (scientist) Portugal Portugal 19 July 1889 29 December 1946 Scientist and Painter
Ernest Thompson Seton United Kingdom United Kingdom 14 August 1860 23 October 1946 Writer and wildlife artist Wild Animals I Have Known
Václav Špála Czech Republic Czech Republic 24 August 1885 13 May 1946 Painter
Léon Spilliaert Belgium Belgium 28 July 1881 23 November 1946 Painter
Gertrude Stein United States United States 3 February 1874 27 July 1946 Writer The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Three Lives
Harry Von Tilzer United States United States 8 July 1872 10 January 1946 Songwriter Ziegfeld Follies
Frona Eunice Wait United States United States 19 August 1859 1946 Author and newspaper writer Wines and Vines of California
George Henry Weiss United States United States 1898 1946 Writer of science fiction and poetry The Night People
H. G. Wells United Kingdom United Kingdom 21 September 1866 13 August 1946 Writer The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man
Stewart Edward White United States United States 12 March 1873 18 September 1946 Writer and spiritualist
Cornel Simanjuntak Indonesia Indonesia 1921 15 September 1946 Songwriter Maju Tak Gentar, Sorak-Sorak Bergembira, Bungaku, Indonesia Tetap Merdeka, Ku Pinta Lagi, Maju Indonesia
Alfred Rosenberg Germany Germany 12 January 1893 16 October 1946 Politician, writer The Myth of the Twentieth Century
Paul Zech [de] Germany Germany 19 February 1881 7 September 1946 Poet Die lasterhaften Balladen und Lieder des François Villon
Heinrich Freiherr von Stackelberg Germany Germany 31 October 1905 12 October 1946 Economist Marktform und Gleichgewicht

Entering the public domain in countries with life + 50 years[edit]

In most countries of Africa and Asia, as well as Canada, Belarus, Bolivia, New Zealand, Egypt and Uruguay, a work enters the public domain 50 years after the creator's death.

Names Country Birth Death Occupation Notable work
Ralph Allen Canada Canada 25 August 1913 2 December 1966 Writer, journalist Peace River Country
Lauro Ayestarán UruguayUruguay 9 July 1913 22 July 1966 Musicologist La música en el Uruguay
André Breton FranceFrance 19 February 1896 28 September 1966 Writer, poet Surrealist Manifesto
Deems Taylor United States United States 22 December 1885 3 July 1966 Composer, music critic
Walt Disney United States United States 5 December 1901 15 December 1966 Filmmaker
C. S. Forester United Kingdom United Kingdom 27 August 1899 2 April 1966 Writer Horatio Hornblower, The African Queen, The General
Lloyd Garrett United States United States 2 July 1886 15 April 1966 Tenor, composer
Alberto Giacometti SwitzerlandSwitzerland 10 October 1901 11 January 1966 Sculptor, painter The Palace at 4 a.m., L'Homme au doigt, Grande tête mince, L'Homme qui marche I, Large Standing Woman I, Monumental Head
César Batlle Pacheco UruguayUruguay 3 August 1885 6 January 1966 Politician, Journalist
Olhinto María Simoes UruguayUruguay 5 June 1901 9 October 1966 Poet, journalist La sombra de los plátanos
Cordwainer Smith United StatesUnited States 11 July 1913 6 August 1966 Science fiction writer, professor, military officer Psychological Warfare, Norstrilia, Scanners Live in Vain, Alpha Ralpha Boulevard, A Planet Named Shayol
Evelyn Waugh United Kingdom United Kingdom 28 October 1903 10 April 1966 Writer Vile Bodies, A Handful of Dust
Mohamed Fawzi  Egypt 15 August 1918 20 October 1966 Singer, Musician Kassaman
Mohamed El Qasabgi  Egypt 1892 25 March 1966 Musician Raq El Habib
Badie' Khayri  Egypt 17 August 1893 1 February 1966 Playwright Hassan wa Murqus wa Cohen
Sayyid Qutb  Egypt 9 October 1906 29 August 1966 Writer Ma'alim fi al-Tariq, Fi Zilal al-Quran

Entering the public domain in Australia[edit]

In 2004 copyright in Australia changed from a "plus 50" law to a "plus 70" law, in line with America and the European Union. But the change was not made retroactive (unlike the 1995 change in the European Union which brought some e.g. British authors back into copyright). Hence the work of an author who died before 1955 is normally in the public domain in Australia; but the copyright of authors was extended to 70 years after death for those who died in 1955 or later, and no more Australian authors will come out of copyright until 1 January 2026 (those who died in 1955).

Entering the public domain in the United States[edit]

The Copyright Term Extension Act means no published works will enter the public domain in this jurisdiction until 2019.[4] The exception are unpublished works, which are subject to 70 years after the death of the creator, as above.

See also[edit]

Lists of authors[edit]

  • Authors listed in Wikidata who died in 1946
  • Over 300 public domain authors available in Wikisource (any language), with descriptions from Wikidata
  • "Authors by Year of Death - 1946". AuthorAndBookInfo.com.


  1. ^ "EU Extends Copyright Term To 70 Years | Billboard". Billboard.biz. 2011-09-12. Retrieved 2014-01-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Directive 2006/116/EC
  3. ^ Copyright term in Russia is extended by 4 years for authors who fought in or worked during the 1941-1945 war.
  4. ^ "Copyright and the Public Domain". Public Domain Information Project. Archived from the original on 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2015-12-13. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)