2021 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 2021. 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 (where the copyright protection is life + 50 years)[1]:Art. 22(1) 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. For previously unpublished material, those who publish it first will have the publication rights for 25 years. The list is sorted alphabetically and includes a notable work of the creator that will enter the public domain on 1 January 2021.

Names Country Birth Death Occupation Notable work
Maraimalai Adigal  India 15 July 1876 15 September 1950 Writer Somasundarak Kaanjiaakkam
Sri Aurobindo  India 15 August 1872 5 December 1950 Philosopher, yogi, guru, poet, and nationalist The Life Divine, Synthesis of Yoga, Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol
Irving Bacheller United States United States 26 September 1859 24 February 1950 Writer, journalist Eben Holden
Sergei Bakhrushin [ru]  Russia 8 October 1882 8 March 1950 Historian
Miklós Bánffy  Hungary 30 December 1873 5 June 1950 Nobleman, politician, writer A Transylvanian Tale
Pavel Bazhov  Russia 27 January 1879 3 December 1950 Writer The Malachite Box
Max Beckmann  Germany 12 February 1884 27 December 1950 Painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor
Lev Berg  Russia 14 March 1876 24 December 1950 Geographer, biologist and ichthyologist
Léon Blum  France 9 April 1872 30 March 1950 Politician Les Problèmes De La Paix
Ambrogio Bollati [it]  Italy 26 November 1871 26 March 1950 General, Historian Works
D. K. Broster United Kingdom United Kingdom 2 September 1877 7 February 1950 Novelist The Flight of the Heron
Herbert Ashwin Budd United Kingdom United Kingdom 1881 1950 Painter
Edgar Rice Burroughs United States United States 1 September 1875 19 March 1950 Author of adventure and science fiction Tarzan and Barsoom
Basilio Cascella Italy Italy 2 October 1860 24 July 1950 Artist Il bagno della pastora [it]
Alfonso Daniel Rodríguez Castelao  Spain 29 January 1886 7 January 1950 Painter
Francesco Cilea Italy Italy 26 July 1866 20 November 1950 Composer L'arlesiana and Adriana Lecouvreur
Erle Cox  Australia 15 August 1873 20 November 1950 Journalist and science fiction writer Out of the Silence
Theodor Duesterberg  Germany 19 October 1875 4 November 1950 Politician The Steel Helmet and Hitler
Walter Eucken  Germany 17 January 1891 20 March 1950 Economist Works
John Gould Fletcher United States United States 3 January 1886 10 May 1950 Poet Selected Poems
William Hovgaard  Denmark
 United States
28 November 1857 5 January 1950 Professor, Writer Submarine Boats, The Voyages Of The Norsemen To America
Heydar Huseynov  Azerbaijan 3 April 1908 15 August 1950 Philosopher Dialectical Materialism
Rex Ingram  United States 15 January 1892 2 July 1950 Film director, producer, writer and actor The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Prisoner of Zenda
George Cecil Ives United Kingdom United Kingdom 1 October 1867 4 June 1950 Writer, penal reformer English Prisons Today
J. Carlos Brazil Brazil 18 July 1884 2 October 1950 Cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, sculptor
Johannes V. Jensen  Denmark 20 January 1873 25 November 1950 Author The Long Journey
Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky  Russia 11 February 1887 28 December 1950 Writer
Harold Laski United Kingdom United Kingdom 30 June 1893 24 March 1950 Political theorist, economist A Grammar of Politics
Harry Lauder United Kingdom United Kingdom 4 August 1870 26 February 1950 Comedian; Singer/songwriter Roamin' in the Gloamin'
Heinrich Mann  Germany 27 March 1871 11 March 1950 Writer Professor Unrat
Edgar Lee Masters United States United States 23 August 1868 5 March 1950 Writer Spoon River Anthology
F. O. Matthiessen United States United States 19 February 1902 1 April 1950 literary critic American Renaissance: Art and Expression in the Age of Emerson and Whitman
Marcel Mauss France France 10 May 1872 10 February 1950 Sociologist The Gift
Alfred Edward Moffat United Kingdom United Kingdom 4 December 1863 6 June 1950 Composer, collector of music Meister-Schule der alten Zeit
Edna St. Vincent Millay United States United States 22 February 1892 19 October 1950 Poet, playwright Renascence
Ali Moustafa Mosharafa  Egypt 11 July 1898 16 January 1950 Theoretical physicist
Pavel Muratov  Russia 3 March 1881 5 February 1950 Writer, art historian Images of Italy
Nikolai Myaskovsky  Russia 20 April 1881 8 August 1950 Composer Symphony No. 6 (Myaskovsky)
Vaslav Nijinsky  Russia 12 March 1889 8 April 1950 Ballet dancer and choreographer Diary
George Orwell  United Kingdom 25 June 1903 21 January 1950 Journalist and author Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four
Cesare Pavese  Italy 9 September 1908 27 August 1950 Writer, translator The Moon and the Bonfires
Ernest Poole United States United States 23 January 1880 10 January 1950 Writer His Family
R. R. Ryan  United Kingdom 14 December 1882 18 October 1950 Author
Eliel Saarinen  Russian Empire ( Finland)
 United States
20 August 1873 1 July 1950 Architect Works
Rafael Sabatini  Italy
 United Kingdom
29 April 1875 13 February 1950 Writer The Sea Hawk, Scaramouche, The Odissey of Captain Blood, Bellarion the Fortunate
Theophrastos Sakellaridis  Greece 7 September 1883 2 January 1950 Composer, conductor Ο Βαφτιστικός
Joseph Schumpeter  Austria 8 February 1883 8 January 1950 Economist Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
George Bernard Shaw  United Kingdom
 Ireland
26 July 1856 2 November 1950 Writer Man and Superman, Pygmalion, Saint Joan
Forrest Shreve United States United States 8 July 1878 19 July 1950 Botanist Works
Jan Smuts  South Africa 24 May 1870 11 September 1950 Statesman, military leader, and philosopher Holism and Evolution
John M. Stahl  United States 21 January 1886 12 January 1950 Film Director and Producer Father Was a Fullback
Olaf Stapledon  United Kingdom 10 May 1886 6 September 1950 Philosopher and science fiction author Star Maker, Last and First Men and Odd John
Henry L. Stimson United States United States 21 September 1867 20 October 1950 Politician Democracy And Nationalism In Europe
Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto  Japan 1874 20 June 1950 Writer A Daughter of the Samurai
Tatiana Sukhotina-Tolstaya  Russia 4 October 1864 21 September 1950 Painter and memoirist
Attilio Teruzzi  Italy 5 May 1882 26 April 1950 Politician Cirenaica Verde
Trilussa Italy Italy 26 October 1871 21 December 1950 Poet Works
Xavier Villaurrutia  Mexico 27 March 1903 25 December 1950 Poet, Playwright Works
Archibald P. Wavell  United Kingdom 5 May 1883 24 May 1950 General Generals And Generalship
Kurt Weill  Germany 3 February 1900 3 April 1950 Composer The Threepenny Opera
Yi Kwang-su  South Korea 1 February 1892 25 October 1950 Writer, independence activist Heartless
Hiroshi Yoshida  Japan 19 September 1876 5 April 1950 Painter

Entering the public domain in Spain[edit]

Spain has a copyright term of life + 80 years for creators that died before 1987. The list is sorted alphabetically and includes a notable work of the creator that entered the public domain on 1 January 2021.

List of authors
Names Country Birth Death Occupation Notable work
Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent [es] Spain 1884 1940 Playwrite Bibliography


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, Egypt and Uruguay; a work enters the public domain 50 years after the creator's death.

Names Country Birth Death Occupation Notable work
Abdul Hosein Amini  Iran 1902 3 July 1970 Theologian Al-Ghadir
Shmuel Yosef Agnon  Israel 17 July 1888 17 February 1970 Writer The Bridal Canopy
Fernando Arbello  Puerto Rico 30 May 1907 26 July 1970 Musician
Otto Baecker  Germany 7 January 1898 22 May 1970 Cinematographer Gold
William Beaudine United States United States 15 January 1892 18 March 1970 Film director, actor Boys Will Be Boys
George Blair  United States 6 December 1905 19 April 1970 Film Director
R. V. C. Bodley United Kingdom United Kingdom 3 March 1892 26 May 1970 Army officer, author Algeria From Within
Louise Bogan United States United States 11 August 1897 4 February 1970 Poet Body of This Death
Vera Brittain United Kingdom United Kingdom 29 December 1893 29 March 1970 Writer Testament of Youth
William J. Brown  United States 1970 Architect
Mohamed Fadhel Ben Achour  Tunisia 16 October 1909 20 April 1970 Theologian Works
Rudolf Carnap Germany Germany 18 May 1891 14 September 1970 Philosopher Der Logische Aufbau der Welt
Émile Coderre [fr] Canada Canada 10 June 1893 6 April 1970 Poet Works
Mohamed Abdelaziz Djaït [fr] Tunisia Tunisia 1886 5 January 1970 Theologian Works
William Dobell  Australia 24 September 1899 13 May 1970 Artist Mr Joshua Smith
John Dos Passos United States United States 14 January 1896 28 September 1970 Novelist U.S.A. trilogy
E. M. Forster  United Kingdom 1 January 1879 7 June 1970 Writer Works
Babbis Friis-Baastad  Norway 21 August 1921 10 January 1970 Children's writer Ikke ta Bamse
Erle Stanley Gardner United States United States 17 July 1889 11 March 1970 Author, lawyer Perry Mason series of books
Maurice Gemayel  Lebanon 1910 31 October 1970 Politician Tripoli and Decentralization
L. Wolfe Gilbert United States United States 31 August 1886 12 July 1970 Songwriter Down Yonder
Rube Goldberg United States United States 4 July 1883 7 December 1970 Cartoonist, News reporter, Sculptor, Engineer
John Gunther United States United States 30 August 1901 29 May 1970 Author Death Be Not Proud
Muhsin al-Hakim  Iraq 1889 1970 Theologian Minhaj as-Saleheen
Alice Hamilton United States United States 27 February 1869 22 September 1970 Physician, research scientist Industrial Poisons in the United States
Lawren Harris  Canada 23 October 1885 29 January 1970 Painter
Marlen Haushofer  Austria 11 April 1920 21 March 1970 Writer
Erich Heckel Germany Germany 31 July 1883 27 January 1970 Artist Roquairol
Jimi Hendrix United States United States 27 November 1942 18 September 1970 Musician, singer-songwriter Purple Haze
Roman Ingarden Poland Poland 5 February 1893 14 June 1970 Philosopher The Literary Work of Art
Michał Kalecki  Poland 22 June 1899 18 April 1970 Economist Próba teorii koniunktury
William Archibald Mackintosh Canada Canada 21 May 1895 29 December 1970 Economist Economic Problems Of The Prairie Provinces
Leopoldo Marechal  Argentina 11 June 1900 26 June 1970 Writer Adam Buenosayres
François Mauriac  France 11 October 1885 1 September 1970 Writer Thérèse Desqueyroux
Yukio Mishima Japan Japan 14 January 1925 25 November 1970 Novelist, playwright, poet, writer, essayist, critic Works
Gamal Abdel Nasser  Egypt 15 January 1918 28 September 1970 Politician Philosophy of Revolution
Charles Olson  United States 27 December 1910 10 January 1970 Poet Works
Waldo Peirce United States United States 17 December 1884 8 March 1970 Painter Legends of the Hudson
Vladimir Propp  Russia 29 April 1895 22 August 1970 Folklorist Morphology of the Tale
Alf Prøysen  Norway 23 July 1914 23 November 1970 Musician, Writer, Composer Works
Erich Maria Remarque Germany Germany 22 June 1898 25 September 1970 Novelist All Quiet on the Western Front
Ali Riahi Tunisia Tunisia 30 March 1912 27 March 1970 Musician
Gonzalo Roig  Cuba 20 July 1890 13 June 1970 Composer Cecilia Valdés
Bertrand Russell United Kingdom United Kingdom 18 May 1872 2 February 1970 Philosopher, mathematician Principia Mathematica
Nelly Sachs  German Empire
 Sweden
10 October 1891 12 May 1970 Poet, Writer Works
Ruth Sawyer United States United States 5 August 1880 3 June 1970 Writer Roller Skates
Slim Harpo United States United States 11 January 1924 31 January 1970 Blues Musician I'm a King Bee
William Stewart Wallace Canada Canada 23 June 1884 11 March 1970 Historian Encyclopedia of Canada
Hassan Taqizadeh Iran Iran 27 September 1878 28 January 1970 Politician Old Iranian Calendars
Sophie Treadwell United States United States 3 October 1885 20 February 1970 Playwright Machinal
Jacob Viner Canada Canada 3 May 1892 12 September 1970 Economist Works
Otto Heinrich Warburg Germany Germany 8 October 1883 1 August 1970 Physiologist The Metabolism of Tumours
Harry M. Woods United States United States 4 November 1896 14 January 1970 Songwriter When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)
Mahmoud Zulfikar Egypt Egypt 18 February 1914 22 May 1970 Director

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 bought some e.g. British 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 1950 will enter the public domain.[2] Any published literary, artistic, dramatic, or musical work (other than computer programs) by a not generally known author (anonymous or pseudonymous) from 1950 will enter the public domain.

Entering the public domain in the United States[edit]

Under the Copyright Term Extension Act, books published in 1925, films released in 1925, and other works published in 1925, will enter the public domain in 2021.[3] Additionally, unpublished works whose authors died in 1950 will enter the public domain.

No United States audio recordings will enter the public domain; under the Music Modernization Act, those published in 1925 will not enter the public domain until 2026. However, international audio recordings published in 1925 enter the public domain, as will all sheet music published in 1925.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Sinclair Lewis' Arrowsmith are two of the notable works entering the public domain in 2021 in the U.S.A.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Law 194-3 of 11 August 1998
  2. ^ "New copyright duration changes coming". Australian Government-Department of Communications & The Arts. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Copyright and the Public Domain". Public Domain Information Project. Archived from the original on 1 August 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  4. ^ Writer, HILLEL ITALIEAP National (22 January 2020). "'The Great Gatsby' will enter public domain when copyright ends in 2021". Press Herald. Retrieved 24 January 2020.

External links[edit]