2020 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 2020. 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 and Spain (which has a copyright term of Life + 80 years for creators that died before 1987), 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 will enter the public domain on January 1, 2020.

Names Country Birth Death Occupation Notable work
James Truslow Adams United States United States 18 October 1878 18 May 1949 Writer The March of Democracy
Virginia M. Alexander United States United States 1900 1949 Physician Publications
Hervey Allen United States United States 8 December 1889 28 December 1949 Author Anthony Adverse
Masaharu Anesaki Japan Japan 25 July 1873 23 July 1949 Historian History of Japanese Religion
Mary Antin United States United States 13 June 1881 15 May 1949 Writer The Promised Land
Josef Maria Auchentaller  Austria 2 August 1865 31 December 1949 Artist Bunte Bände
Alice Bailey United States United States 16 June 1880 15 December 1949 Writer Works
Hassan al-Banna Egypt Egypt 14 October 1906 12 February 1949 imam Mudhakkirât al-da'wa wa al-dâ'iya
Philip Barry United States United States 18 June 1896 3 December 1949 Playwright Holiday
Rex Beach United States United States 1 September 1877 7 December 1949 Writer, Olympic athlete The Spoilers
H. Bedford-Jones United States United States 29 April 1887 6 May 1949 Writer The John Solomon Series
Khalil Beidas  Palestine 1874 1949 novelist Works
Federico Beltrán Masses Spain Spain 8 September 1885 4 October 1949 Painter
Friedrich Bergius Germany Germany 11 October 1884 30 March 1949 Chemist Bergius process
Elsa Bernstein Austria Austria 28 October 1866 2 July 1949 Writer Königskinder
Musa Bigiev  Russia 25 December 1873 (O. S.) 28 October 1949 Theologian Selected works
Elisheva Bikhovski  Israel 20 September 1888 27 March 1949 Writer, Translator Simta'ot
Gustavus M. Blech United States United States 28 November 1870 9 August 1949 Physician Practical Suggestions in Borderland Surgery
Leonard Bloomfield United States United States 1 April 1887 18 April 1949 Linguist Selected publications
Robert Boudrioz France France 12 February 1887 22 June 1949 Film director, screenwriter The Man with a Broken Ear
Umberto Brunelleschi Italy Italy 21 June 1879 16 February 1949 Artist, Illustrator
Guillermo Buitrago  Colombia 1 April 1920 19 April 1949 Composer La Vispera de Año Nuevo
Harry Burleigh United States United States 2 December 1866 12 September 1949 Composer, singer settings of spirituals
Helen Churchill Candee United States United States 5 October 1858 23 August 1949 Writer, feminist Angkor the Magnificent
N. D. Cocea  Romania 29 November 1880 1 February 1949 Journalist, Novelist Vinul de viață lungă
Richard Connell United States United States 17 October 1893 22 November 1949 Writer The Most Dangerous Game
Carlo Conti Rossini  Italy 1872 1949 Orientalist Italia ed Etiopia dal trattato di Uccialli alla battaglia d'Adua
Dorothea Conyers  Ireland 11 November 1869 25 May 1949 Novelist
Will Cuppy United States United States 23 August 1884 19 September 1949 Humorist How to be a Hermit
Stoyan Danev  Bulgaria 28 January 1858 30 July 1949 Jurist and politician
Norman Davey United Kingdom United Kingdom 5 May 1888 6 June 1949 Engineer, Writer The Pilgrim of a Smile
Félix d'Herelle France France 25 April 1873 22 February 1949 Microbiologist Published works
Georgi Dimitrov  Bulgaria 18 June 1882 2 July 1949 Politician, revolutionary Georgi Dimitrov bibliography
Grigoraș Dinicu Romania Romania 3 April 1889 28 March 1949 Composer Hora staccato
Ali Douagi  Tunisia 4 January 1909 27 May 1949 sketch artist Sahirtu minhu al-layali
Alexander Drankov  Russia
 Soviet Union
18 January 1886 3 January 1949 photographer, cameraman, film producer
William Price Drury United Kingdom United Kingdom 8 November 1861 21 January 1949 Writer, soldier, politician The Flag Lieutenant
Inés Echeverría Bello  Chile 1868 1949 Writer Entre Deux Mondes
Arthur Eichengrün Germany Germany 13 August 1867 23 December 1949 Chemist 50 Jahre Aspirin
Emil Elenius [fi]  Finland 16 September 1877 1 March 1949 novelist Silkkilaiva
James Ensor  Belgium 13 April 1860 19 November 1949 Artist Christ's Entry Into Brussels in 1889
Herbert Eulenberg Germany Germany 25 January 1876 4 September 1949 Writer Schattenbilder. Eine Fibel für Kulturbedürftige in Deutschland
August Fischer Germany Germany 14 February 1865 14 February 1949 Orientalist Arabische Chrestomathie aus Prosaschriftstellern
Victor Fleming  United States 23 February 1889 6 January 1949 Film Director The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind
James Forrestal United States United States 15 February 1892 22 May 1949 Politician The Forrestal Diaries
Nikolay Gamaleya Russia Russia 17 February 1859 29 March 1949 Physician, microbiologist
Henri Giraud France France 18 January 1879 11 March 1949 General Mes Evasions, Un seul but; la victoire: Alger 1942-1944
Mikhail Golodny [ru] Russia Russia 11 December 1903 20 January 1949 Poet Song about Shchors
Ángel González Palencia [es]  Spain 4 September 1889 30 October 1949 Orientalist El amor entre los musulmanes españoles, El tesoro de los Nazaríes
Hari Singh Gour  India 26 November 1870 25 December 1949 Jurist, educator, writer The Penal Law of India
Martin Grabmann Germany Germany 5 January 1875 9 January 1949 Priest, Historian Thomas Aquinas: His Personality and Thought
Stanisław Grabski  Poland 5 April 1871 6 May 1949 Economist, Politician
Major Greenwood  United Kingdom 9 August 1880 5 October 1949 Epidemiologist Publications
Joan Lamote de Grignon Spain Spain 7 July 1872 11 March 1949 Composer La nit de Nadal
George Gurdjieff  Armenia 13 January 1866 29 October 1949 spiritual teacher The Herald of Coming Good
František Halas  Czech Republic 3 October 1901 27 October 1949 Poet, translator
Fritz Hart United Kingdom United Kingdom 11 February 1874 9 July 1949 Composer, conductor
Syed Zafarul Hasan  Pakistan 14 February 1885 19 June 1949 Philosopher Realism
Kunihiko Hashimoto Japan Japan 14 September 1904 6 May 1949 Composer Azami no Hana
Will Hay United Kingdom United Kingdom 6 December 1888 18 April 1949 Comedian, amateur astronomer Through My Telescope
Burton J. Hendrick United States United States 8 December 1870 23 March 1949 Author The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page
Johann Jakob Hess Germany Germany 11 January 1866 29 April 1949 Egyptologist Von den Beduinen des inneren Arabiens
Ludwig Hohlwein Germany Germany 27 July 1874 15 September 1949 Poster artist
William Jackson Humphreys United States United States 3 February 1862 10 November 1949 physicist Bibliography
Otto Hupp  Germany 21 May 1859 31 January 1949 graphical artist Wappen und Siegel der deutschen Städte, Flecken und Dörfer
Douglas Hyde  Ireland 17 January 1860 12 July 1949 linguist The necessity for de-anglicising the Irish nation
Edmond Jaloux  France 19 June 1878 22 August 1949 Novelist Works
Josep Maria Jujol  Spain 16 September 1879 1 May 1949 Architect Casa Batlló, Park Güell
Oskar Jellinek [de] Austria Austria 22 January 1886 12 October 1949 Writer Die Mutter der Neun
Pierre Jouguet France France 14 May 1869 9 July 1949 Egyptologist Works
Unno Juza Japan Japan 26 December 1897 17 May 1949 Writer of science fiction
Anna Karima  Bulgaria 1871 6 March 1949 Writer and translator
Selâhattin Kantar  Turkey 1878 17 November 1949 playwright Kara Dana
Hugh Kingsmill  United Kingdom 21 November 1889 15 May 1949 Writer, journalist
Martin Knudsen  Denmark 15 February 1871 27 May 1949 Physicist The Kinetic Theory of Gases
József Koszta  Hungary 27 March 1861 29 July 1949 Painter Girl with Geraniums
August Krogh Denmark Denmark 15 November 1874 13 September 1949 Zoologist The Respiratory Exchange of Animals and Man
Albert Christian Kruyt Netherlands Netherlands 10 October 1869 19 January 1949 Ethnographer The Bare'e speaking Toraja of Central Sulawesi
Lead Belly United States United States 20 January 1888 6 December 1949 Musician, songwriter Goodnight, Irene
Vasily Lebedev-Kumach Russia Russia 5 August 1898 20 February 1949 Poet The Sacred War
Fidelio Ponce de León  Cuba 24 January 1895 19 February 1949 Painter Niňos
Albert Howe Lybyer United States United States 1876 1949 orientalist The Government of the Ottoman Empire in the Time of Suleiman the Magnificent
Carmen Lyra  Costa Rica 1888 13 May 1949 Writer Cuentos De Mi Tia Panchita
Antonio Machado  Spain 26 July 1875 22 February 1939 Poet Works
Maurice Maeterlinck  Belgium 29 August 1862 6 May 1949 Playwright Works
René Maire France France 29 May 1878 24 November 1949 botanist Flore de l'Afrique du Nord
Tan Malaka  Indonesia 2 June 1897 21 February 1949 Guerrilla, Philosopher Madilog
Jane Mander  New Zealand 9 April 1877 20 December 1949 Novelist The Story of a New Zealand River
Klaus Mann Germany Germany 18 November 1906 21 May 1949 Novelist Mephisto
J. C. Mardrus France France 1868 1949 Orientalist Works
Elton Mayo  Australia 26 December 1880 7 September 1949 Psychologist Publications
Ibrahim al-Mazini  Egypt 19 August 1889 1949 Writer Spider Webs
Stefan Meyer  Austria 27 April 1872 29 December 1949 Physicist Radioaktivität
Margaret Mitchell United States United States 8 November 1900 16 August 1949 Novelist Gone with the Wind
Axel Munthe  Sweden 31 October 1857 11 February 1949 Psychiatrist The Story of San Michele
Khalil Mutran  Lebanon 1 July 1872 1 June 1949 poet
Sarojini Naidu  India 13 February 1879 2 March 1949 Poet Works
Vladimir Nazor  Croatia 30 May 1876 19 June 1949 Poet, politician
Makino Nobuaki  Japan 24 November 1861 25 January 1949 Statesman Makino Nobuaki nikki
Vítězslav Novák Czech Republic Czech Republic 5 December 1870 18 July 1949 Composer Bouře
Carlos Obligado  Argentina 21 May 1889 3 February 1949 Writer, critic March of the Malvinas
Sidney Olcott  Canada 20 September 1872 16 December 1949 Film director The Pony Express
José Clemente Orozco  Mexico 23 November 1883 7 September 1949 painter Works
Francesco Pasinetti Italy Italy 1 June 1911 2 April 1949 Film Director, screenwriter The Canal of the Angels
Elin Pelin  Bulgaria 8 July 1877 3 December 1949 Writer
Una Pope-Hennessy United Kingdom United Kingdom 21 April 1875 16 August 1949 Historian Secret Societies and the French Revolution
Guillermo Tell Villegas Pulido  Venezuela 28 July 1854 25 July 1949 politician Works
Alfred Rehder United States United States 4 September 1863 25 July 1949 Botanist Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs, Hardy in North America
Gennaro Righelli Italy Italy 12 December 1886 6 January 1949 Film director, screenwriter Svengali
Tod Robbins United States United States 1888 1949 writer Works
Julius Ruska Germany Germany 9 February 1867 11 February 1949 Orientalist Al Razi (Rhases) als Chemiker
Antoun Saadeh Lebanon Lebanon 1 March 1904 8 July 1949 Politician Nushu' al-Umam
Paul Schultze-Naumburg  Germany 10 June 1869 19 May 1949 Architect Die Kunst der Deutschen. Ihr Wesen und ihre Werke
Alexander Serafimovich Russia Russia 7 January 1863 19 January 1949 Writer The Iron Flood
Alexey Shchusev Russia Russia 8 October 1873 24 May 1949 Architect Lenin's Mausoleum
Nikos Skalkottas  Greece 21 March 1904 19 September 1949 Composer List of compositions by Nikos Skalkottas
G. E. M. Skues United Kingdom United Kingdom 13 August 1858 9 August 1949 Writer, fly fisherman The Way of a Trout with the Fly
Frank Smythe United Kingdom United Kingdom 6 July 1900 27 June 1949 Mountaineer, author, photographer The Kangchenjunga Adventure
Edith Somerville Republic of Ireland Ireland 2 May 1858 8 October 1949 Novelist The Irish R.M.
Edward Stettinius  United States 22 October 1900 31 October 1949 Politician Roosevelt and the Russians
Herbert Stothart United States United States 11 September 1885 1 February 1949 Composer, songwriter, conductor Score for The Wizard of Oz
Richard Strauss  Germany 11 June 1864 8 September 1949 Composer List of compositions
Harry Stack Sullivan United States United States 21 February 1892 14 January 1949 Psychiatrist Works
Ali Mahmoud Taha Egypt Egypt 3 August 1901 17 November 1949 Poet Nights of the Lost Sailor, Palestine
Edward Thorndike  United States 31 August 1874 9 August 1949 Psychologist Works
Joaquín Torres-García  Uruguay 28 July 1874 8 August 1949 Artist, writer
Gancho Tsenov  Bulgaria 6 June 1870 1949 Historian
Joaquín Turina Spain Spain 9 December 1882 14 January 1949 Composer Danzas fantásticas
Uemura Shōen Japan Japan 23 April 1875 27 August 1949 Artist Jo-no-mai
Sigrid Undset  Norway 20 May 1882 10 June 1949 Novelist Works
Shabbir Ahmad Usmani  Pakistan 11 October 1887 13 December 1949 theologian Fathul Mulhim Sharh Sahih Muslim
Raimond Valgre  Estonia 31 October 1913 31 December 1949 composer, musician
Josef Velenovský  Czech Republic 22 April 1858 7 May 1949 botanist Works
Oswald Garrison Villard United States United States 13 March 1872 1 October 1949 Journalist, civil rights activist John Brown 1800-1859: A Biography Fifty Years After
Rosy Wertheim Netherlands Netherlands 19 February 1888 27 May 1949 Composer
E. H. Young United Kingdom United Kingdom 21 March 1880 8 August 1949 Novelist and children's writer
Arthur Leo Zagat  United States 15 February 1896 3 April 1949 Writer, lawyer
Nikola Zhekov  Bulgaria 6 January 1864 1 November 1949 General Memoirs
Oton Župančič  Slovenia 23 January 1878 11 June 1949 Writer, translator Ciciban

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

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

Names Country Birth Death Occupation Notable work
Alejandro G. Abadilla  Philippines 10 March 1906 26 August 1969 Writer Ako ang Daigdig
Sargis Abrahamyan  Armenia 28 December 1915 15 June 1969 Writer With Generations
Theodor W. Adorno Germany Germany 11 September 1903 6 August 1969 Philosopher Theodor W. Adorno bibliography
Ricardo Aguirre  Venezuela 9 May 1939 8 November 1969 Singer, Composer La Grey Zuliana
Ignacio Aldecoa Spain Spain 25 July 1925 15 November 1969 Author El fulgor y la sangre
Ikbal Ali Shah  India 12 July 1894 4 November 1969 Writer, diplomat Afghanistan of the Afghans
Edgar Anderson United States United States 9 November 1897 18 June 1969 Botanist Introgressive Hybridization
Charlotte Armstrong United States United States 2 May 1905 7 July 1969 Author A Dram of Poison
Marius Barbeau  Canada 5 March 1883 27 February 1969 Ethnographer Downfall of Temlaham
Daniel E. Barbey United States United States 23 December 1889 11 March 1969 Naval Officer MacArthur's Amphibious Navy
Emilio Bigi  Paraguay 1 July 1910 28 May 1969 Musician Renacer guarani
Charles Brackett United States United States 26 November 1892 9 March 1969 Novelist, Screenwriter
Gabriel Chevallier France France 3 May 1895 6 April 1969 Novelist Clochemerle
Ivy Compton-Burnett United Kingdom United Kingdom 5 June 1884 27 August 1969 Novelist Manservant and Maidservant
Richmal Crompton United Kingdom United Kingdom 15 November 1890 11 January 1969 Writer, Teacher Just William series
Aleksandr Deyneka  Russia 20 May 1899 12 June 1969 Artist The Defense of Petrograd
Otto Dix Germany Germany 2 December 1891 25 July 1969 Artist The Trench
Duke Adolf Friedrich of Mecklenburg Germany Germany 10 October 1873 5 August 1969 explorer, politician Ins innerste Afrika
Max Eastman United States United States 4 January 1883 25 March 1969 Writer Reflections on the Failure of Socialism
Dwight D. Eisenhower  United States 14 October 1890 28 March 1969 Military Officer, statesman Crusade in Europe
Abo El Seoud El Ebiary Egypt Egypt 9 November 1910 17 March 1969 Playwright, songwriter Afrita hanem
Olivia FitzRoy United Kingdom United Kingdom 27 May 1921 24 December 1969 Author of children's books Orders to Poach
Botong Francisco Philippines Philippines 4 November 1912 31 March 1969 Muralist The Progress of Medicine in the Philippines
Karl Freund Germany Germany 16 January 1890 3 May 1969 Cinematographer, film director The Mummy
Rómulo Gallegos  Venezuela 2 August 1884 5 April 1969 Novelist, politician Doña Bárbara
Witold Gombrowicz Poland Poland 4 August 1904 24 July 1969 Writer, playwright Ferdydurke
Walter Gropius Germany Germany 18 May 1883 5 July 1969 Architect Bauhaus
Wendell Hall United States United States 23 August 1896 2 April 1969 Singer-songwriter It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'
Karl Jaspers Germany Germany 23 February 1883 26 February 1969 Psychiatrist, Philosopher General Psychopathology
Jack Kerouac United States United States 12 March 1922 21 October 1969 Writer On the Road
Norman Lindsay  Australia 22 February 1879 21 November 1969 Artist, Writer The Magic Pudding
Frank Loesser United States United States 29 June 1910 28 July 1969 Songwriter Baby, It's Cold Outside, A Bushel and a Peck
Erika Mann Germany Germany 5 November 1905 27 August 1969 Writer, actress Zehn Millionen Kinder. Die Erziehung der Jugend im Dritten Reich
Gavin Maxwell United Kingdom United Kingdom 15 July 1914 7 September 1969 Author Ring of Bright Water
Leo McCarey United States United States 3 October 1898 5 July 1969 Film director, screenwriter The Bells of St. Mary's
Jimmy McHugh United States United States 10 July 1894 23 May 1969 Composer South American Way
Meher Baba  India 25 February 1894 31 January 1969 Mystic God Speaks
Mikio Naruse Japan Japan 20 August 1905 2 July 1969 Film director, screenwriter Apart from You
Mutesa II of Buganda  Uganda 19 November 1924 21 November 1969 Statesman The Desecration of My Kingdom
Seabury Quinn United States United States December 1889 24 December 1969 Author, lawyer Roads
August Sang  Estonia 27 July 1914 14 October 1969 Poet Üks noormees otsib õnne
Muhammad Shahidullah  Bangladesh 10 July 1885 13 July 1969 Writer, philologist Bangla Sahityer Katha
Ben Shahn United States United States 12 September 1898 14 March 1969 Artist Jersey Homesteads Mural
Osbert Sitwell United Kingdom United Kingdom 6 December 1892 4 May 1969 Writer Before the Bombardment
Josef von Sternberg United States United States 29 May 1894 22 December 1969 Film director Shanghai Express
Leonard Woolf United Kingdom United Kingdom 25 November 1880 14 August 1969 writer, publisher The Village in the Jungle
John Wyndham United Kingdom United Kingdom 10 July 1903 11 March 1969 Science-Fiction Writer The Day of the Triffids, The Midwich Cuckoos

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 European authors back into copyright, especially those who died from 1925 to 1944). 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).

Unpublished works by authors who died in 1949 will enter the public domain. [3] Any published literary, artistic, dramatic, or musical work (other than computer programs) by a not generally known author (anonymous or pseudonymous) from 1949 will enter the public domain.

Entering the public domain in the United States[edit]

In general, works published in 1924 (including printed music) enter the public domain. No United States audio recordings will enter the public domain (as those before 1972 were covered by state laws only), but audio recordings published in 1924 outside the United States enter the public domain. Under the Music Modernization Act, United States audio recordings published in 1924 will enter the public domain in 2025.

Under the Copyright Term Extension Act, books published in 1924, films released in 1924, and other works published in 1924, will enter the public domain in 2020.[4]

Unpublished works whose authors died in 1949 will enter the public domain.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "EU Extends Copyright Term To 70 Years | Billboard". Billboard.biz. 2011-09-12. Retrieved 2014-01-07.
  2. ^ Directive 2006/116/EC
  3. ^ "New copyright duration changes coming". Australian Government-Department of Communications & The Arts. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Copyright and the Public Domain". Public Domain Information Project. Archived from the original on 2014-08-01. Retrieved 2015-12-13.

External links[edit]