Monday, January 05, 2009

Public Domain Day 2009

January 1 was Public Domain 2009 day -- the day on which the works of authors who died in 1938 entered the public domain in most countries.
The Public Domain blog has a long and fascinating list of the authors whose works are finally free to be reprinted and spread around the world. Some of the more interesting members of the 1938 class of deceased authors include:

  • Danish bacteriologist Hans Christian Gram (of Gram staining fame)

  • British-Canadian author, conservationist, and literary fraud Archie Belaney (Grey Owl)

  • Latvian-born ethnologist and musicologist Abraham Zevi Idelsohn (to whom the lyrics to “Hava Nagila” are attributed)

  • American cartoonist E. C. Segar (creator of “Popeye”)

  • American illustrator Johnny Gruelle (creator of “Raggedy Ann”)

  • American lawyer Clarence Darrow (of “Scopes Monkey Trial” fame)

  • American songwriter James Thornton (“When You Were Sweet Sixteen”, written in 1898)

  • Japanese martial artist Kano Jigoro (founder of judo)

  • American industrialist Harvey Samuel Firestone (of tire fame)
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