Just a quick post today but I wanted to remind everyone that today, for the first time in two decades, an entire year of content has entered the public domain in the United States. The films and books of 1923 are no longer under copyright!
That means Safety Last!, A Woman of Paris and The Ten Commandments, along with hundreds of other silent films, are out of copyright jail. I am actually more excited about the obscure silents that were not famous enough to be released on home video but were still under copyright.
(Please note that scores, restored title cards and other elements may still be under copyright. Also, copyright and access restrictions are not the same thing so a film entering public domain does not guarantee release, especially if the original studio controls the lone surviving print.)
On the lit side of things, works from D.H. Lawrence to Agatha Christie are entering the public domain and will likely be available for free digitally very soon, if they aren’t already.
I am tickled pink and hope this will lead to some “lost” silent films miraculously reemerging. I am personally wishing for Flaming Youth, Bonnie Prince Charlie, The Isle of Lost Ships and the rest of Suzanna. Hey, dream big, right?
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