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 entered 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 For previously unpublished material, those who publish it first will have the publication rights for 25 years.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 entered the public domain on 1 January 2021.

Names Country Birth Death Occupation Notable work
Octave-Louis Aubert France France 8 January 1870 14 January 1950 Writer, journalist Le Livre de la Bretagne
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
William Rose Benét United States United States 2 February 1886 4 May 1950 Writer, poet, editor Saturday Review of Literature, The Reader's Encyclopedia
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
Joe Burke United States United States 18 March 1884 9 June 1950 Composer, pianist
Edgar Rice Burroughs United States United States 1 September 1875 19 March 1950 Author of adventure and science fiction Tarzan and Barsoom
J. Carlos Brazil Brazil 18 July 1884 2 October 1950 Cartoonist, illustrator, graphic designer, sculptor
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
Neville William Cayley  Australia 7 January 1886 17 March 1950 Ornithologist & artist "What Bird is That?", 1931
Francesco Cilea Italy Italy 26 July 1866 20 November 1950 Composer L'arlesiana and Adriana Lecouvreur
Leôncio Correia (pt) Brazil Brazil 1 January 1865 19 June 1950 Lawyer, politician, writer and journalist
Erle Cox  Australia 15 August 1873 20 November 1950 Journalist and science fiction writer Out of the Silence
Walter Damrosch United States United States 30 January 1862 22 December 1950 Composer
Frank Parker Day  Canada 9 May 1881 30 July 1950 Author and academic
Warwick Deeping United Kingdom United Kingdom 28 May 1877 20 April 1950 Author Sorrell and Son
Edward d'Evry United Kingdom United Kingdom 6 June 1869 25 December 1950 Composer
Lancelot de Mole  Australia 12 March 1880 6 May 1950 Engineer & inventor Tracked armoured vehicle, 1911
Clément Doucet  Belgium 9 April 1895 15 October 1950 Composer, pianist
Anatoly Drozdov (ru)  Russia 4 November 1883 10 September 1950 Composer, pianist
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
Percy Keese Fitzhugh United States United States 7 September 1876 5 July 1950 Author of children and young adult literature
Yevgeny Gunst Russia Russia 7 June 1877 30 January 1950 Composer
John Gould Fletcher United States United States 3 January 1886 10 May 1950 Poet Selected Poems
Ernest Haycox United States United States 1 October 1899 13 October 1950 Author of Western fiction
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
Émile Jaques-Dalcroze Switzerland Switzerland 6 July 1865 1 July 1950 Composer, music educator
Johannes V. Jensen  Denmark 20 January 1873 25 November 1950 Author The Long Journey
Charles L. Johnson  United States 3 December 1876 28 December 1950 Composer
Eddie Kilfeather United States United States 5 April 1900 13 January 1950 Composer
Alfred Korzybski  Russian Empire
 United States
3 July 1879 1 March 1950 Engineer and founder of Institute of General Semantics Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics
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'
Lilian Sophia Locke  Australia 6 June 1869 1 July 1950 Suffragette & Trade-unionist Secretary of the United Council for Woman's Suffrage, 1890s
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
Ernest John Moeran United Kingdom United Kingdom 31 December 1894 1 December 1950 Composer
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 also see George Orwell bibliography
Cesare Pavese  Italy 9 September 1908 27 August 1950 Writer, translator The Moon and the Bonfires
Max Pemberton United Kingdom United Kingdom 19 June 1863 22 February 1950 Novelist of adventure and mystery literature
Octávio Pinto Brazil Brazil 3 November 1890 31 October 1944 Composer, architect
Ernest Poole United States United States 23 January 1880 10 January 1950 Writer His Family
Gustaf John Ramstedt  Russian Empire
 Finland
22 October 1873 25 November 1950 Explorer, linguist, diplomat Seitsemän retkeä itään
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
Guðjón Samúelsson  Iceland 16 April 1887 25 April 1950 Architect Hallgrímskirkja, National Theatre of Iceland, Akureyrarkirkja
Joseph Schumpeter  Austria 8 February 1883 8 January 1950 Economist Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy
Milton Schwarzwald United States United States 1891 1950 Director, composer
George Bernard Shaw  United Kingdom
 Ireland
26 July 1856 2 November 1950 Writer Man and Superman, Pygmalion, Saint Joan
Adaline Shepherd United States United States 19 August 1883 12 March 1950 Composer
Forrest Shreve United States United States 8 July 1878 19 July 1950 Botanist Works
Martinus Sieveking  Netherlands 24 March 1867 26 November 1950 Composer, music teacher
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
Orhan Veli Kanık  Turkey 14 April 1914 14 November 1950 Poet Garip, Collected Poems
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 2 March 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 countries with life + 80 years[edit]

Spain (for creators that died before 1987), Colombia and Equatorial Guinea have a copyright term of life + 80 years. The list is sorted alphabetically and includes one notable work that entered the public domain on 1 January 2021 for each creator.

List of authors
Names Country Birth Death Occupation Notable work
J.-H. Rosny aîné France France 17 February 1856 11 February 1940 Writer The Quest for Fire
Xerardo Álvarez Limeses [es] Spain Spain 1871 1940 Teacher, writer
Manuel Azaña Spain Spain 1880 1940 Politician, political writer, Prime Minister
Julián Besteiro Spain Spain 21 September 1870 27 September 1940
E. F. Benson United Kingdom United Kingdom 24 July 1867 29 February 1940 Writer, archaeologist Mapp and Lucia
Mikhail Bulgakov Russia Russia 15 May 1891 10 March 1940 Writer, playwright, medical doctor The Master and Margarita
Rafael Flores Nieto [es] Spain Spain 1 May 1864 25 November 1940 Flamenco singer and guitarist
Philip Francis Nowlan United States United States 13 November 1888 1 February 1940 Writer Armageddon 2419 A.D.
F. Scott Fitzgerald United States United States 24 September 1896 21 December 1940 Novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and short-story writer This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby and Tender Is the Night
Carlos Gómez Carrera [es] Spain Spain 1903 or 1907 28 June 1940 Cartoonist
Antonio de Hoyos y Vinent [es] Spain Spain 1884 1940 Playwright Bibliography
Louis J. Panella United States United States 1881 3 March 1940 Composer
Enrique Peinador [es] Spain Spain 1880 1940 Businessman
Indalecio Varela Lenzano [es] Spain Spain 1856 1940 Musicologist, music critic
María Vinyals Spain Spain 1875 1940 Publicist, essayist

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
Guy Endore  United States 4 July 1901 12 February 1970 Author, screenwriter The Werewolf of Paris
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
John Dos Passos United States United States 14 January 1896 28 September 1970 Novelist U.S.A. trilogy
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
Mark Rothko United States United States 25 September 1903 25 February 1970 Abstract painter Black on Maroon
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)
Abraham Zapruder United States United States 15 May 1905 30 August 1970 Clothing manufacturer Zapruder film
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. However, the change was not made retroactive (unlike the 1995 change in the European Union which brought the works of those who died from 1925 to 1944 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).

Unpublished works by authors who died in 1950 entered 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 also entered the public domain.

Names Country Birth Death Occupation Notable work
Cyril Tenison White  Australia 17 August 1890 16 August 1950 Botanist/Explorer Made significant contributions to knowledge of the flora of Queensland and northern New South Wales, and was regarded as an authority on tropical plants.
Erle Cox  Australia 17 August 1873 20 November 1950 Writer "Out of the Silence"
Dame Mary Cook  Australia 1863 24 September 1950 Social Work Vice President of the "War Chest Society" and President of the "Parramatta Branch of the Red Cross Society"
Frank Brennan  Australia 1873 6 November 1950 Politician Noted Pacifist
Ted Colson  Australia 3 June 1881 27 February 1950 Anthropologist Crossing of the Simpson Desert
Ian Morrison  Australia 13 May 1913 12 August 1950 Journalist "This War against Japan : Thoughts on the Present Conflict in the Far East" 1944
Andrew Oswald Wilson  Australia 12 October 1866 19 June 1950 Architect Boulder Town Hall
George Ainsworth  Australia 20 October 1878 11 October 1950 Meteorologist & photographer Leader of the Macquarie Island party of the Australian Antarctic Expedition, December 1911 to November 1913
Neville William Cayley  Australia 7 January 1886 17 March 1950 Ornithologist & artist "What Bird is That?", 1931
Lilian Sophia Locke  Australia 6 June 1869 1 July 1950 Suffragette & Trade-unionist Secretary of the United Council for Woman's Suffrage, 1890s
Lancelot de Mole  Australia 12 March 1880 6 May 1950 Engineer & inventor Tracked armoured vehicle, 1911
Ada May Plante  Australia 4 October 1876 3 July 1950 Painter Founding exhibitor at Pioneering Post-Impressionist Melbourne Contemporary Group, 1932
Beaumont Smith  Australia 15 August 1885 2 January 1950 Film director "Our Friends the Hayseeds", 1917
Horace Stevens  Australia 27 October 1876 18 November 1950 Opera singer Samuel Coleridge Taylor's "Hiawatha" London premiere, 1924
Clas Edvard Friström  Australia 26 January 1864 27 March 1950 Painter Exhibited 53 paintings with the Queensland Art Society, 1899-1902
Constance Elizabeth Darcy  Australia 1 June 1879 25 April 1950 Gynaecologist Member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London
Gustavus Athol Waterhouse  Australia 21 May 1877 29 July 1950 Entomologist "The butterflies of Australia", 1914 and "What butterfly is that? A guide to the butterflies of Australia", 1932
Alexandrine Seager  Australia 10 November 1870 12 March 1950 Businessperson Founded the Cheer-Up Society to provide comfort and entertainment for World War One soldiers
Ted Theodore  Australia 28 December 1884 9 February 1950 Politician State president, Queensland Australian Workers' Union

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, entered the public domain in 2021.[3] Additionally, unpublished works whose authors died in 1950 entered the public domain.

No sound recordings entered the public domain; under the Music Modernization Act, those published in 1925 will not enter the public domain until 2026.[4] However, all musical compositions published in 1925 entered the public domain in 2021.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Sinclair Lewis's Arrowsmith are two of the notable works that entered the public domain in 2021 in the United States.[5]

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. ^ Hirtle, Peter B. (3 January 2020). "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States". Cornell University Library Copyright Information Center. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  5. ^ ITALIE, HILLEL (22 January 2020). "'The Great Gatsby' will enter public domain when copyright ends in 2021". Press Herald. Retrieved 24 January 2020.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]