Download Hundreds of Japanese Fireworks Illustrations from the 1800s

Fireworks are beautiful to look at it and enjoy, but the moment can seem fleeting due to their temporary nature. That’s what makes this newly digitized catalog of fireworks illustrations from Jinta Hirayama so amazing. Fireworks are frozen in time to be enjoyed over and over. And the best part? They’re available to download for… Continue reading Download Hundreds of Japanese Fireworks Illustrations from the 1800s

For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, all works first published in the United States in 1923 will enter the public domain. It has been 21 years since the last mass expiration of copyright in the U.S.

That deluge of works includes not just “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which appeared first in the New Republic in 1923, but hundreds of thousands of books, musical compositions, paintings, poems, photographs and films. After January 1, any record label can issue a dubstep version of the 1923 hit “Yes! We Have No Bananas,” any middle school can produce Theodore Pratt’s stage adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and any historian can publish Winston Churchill’s The World Crisis with her own extensive annotations. Any artist can create and sell a feminist response to Marcel Duchamp’s seminal Dadaist piece, The Large Glass (The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even) and any filmmaker can remake Cecil B. DeMille’s original The Ten Commandments and post it on YouTube.

“The public domain has been frozen in time for 20 years, and we’re reaching the 20-year thaw,” says Jennifer Jenkins, director of Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain. The release is unprecedented, and its impact on culture and creativity could be huge. We have never seen such a mass entry into the public domain in the digital age. The last one—in 1998, when 1922 slipped its copyright bond—predated Google. “We have shortchanged a generation,” said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive. “The 20th century is largely missing from the internet.”

 

Read more via For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv
Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter