One of thousands of books, movies, and musical works entering the public domain in the United States in 2023, including the Sherlock Holmes collection, the first film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture, and the Irving Berlin classic.
This year’s most famous work is The Case Files of Sherlock Holmes, a definitive end to the decades-long story of Arthur Conan Doyle’s fortune and the curtailment of other authors’ use of the character. and the wartime romance “Wings” and Berlin’s “Puttin’ On the Ritz”.
Works by Hemingway, Gershwin, and Wolf enter the public domain this year
Several other works by renowned authors enter the public domain this year, including Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse,” Ernest Hemingway’s collection “Men Without Women,” and Agatha Christie’s “The Big Four.”
The 1927 film Wings, starring from left to right Charles Rogers, Clara Bow, and Richard Arlen, entered the public domain this year. credit: Everett Collection
Several pieces of classical music have entered the public domain, including “The Best Things in Life Are Free” from the musical Good News (a song famously attributed to the departure of the Mad Men character Bart Cooper from the series). I’m here. Gershwin’s love song “‘S Wonderful”. Oscar his songs from Hammerstein’s musical “Show Boat”, as well as “(I Scream You Scream, We All Scream for) Ice Cream” to delight frozen dessert lovers around the world.
How things enter the public domain
Countries that follow the term “life plus 50 years” plan to include the works of those who died in 1972 into the public domain (New Zealand, and many Asian and African countries follow this model). Other countries follow the “life plus 70 years” (this includes the UK and much of South America).
Some notable additions to the public domain in 2023
“Metropolis” Fritz Lang
“The Jazz Singer” Alan Crosland
“Wings” William A. Wellman
“The Lodger: A Tale of the London Mist” by Alfred Hitchcock
“King of Kings” by Cecil B. DeMille
“Upstream” John Ford
“To the Lighthouse” Virginia Woolf
“Man Without Woman” Ernest Hemingway
The Case Files of Sherlock Holmes Arthur Conan Doyle
“Big Four” Agatha Christie
“Now we are 6” AA Milne
“America” Franz Kafka
“Le Temps retrouvé” Marcel Proust
The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
“The best things in life are free,” George Gaard de Silva, Lou Brown, and Ray Henderson.From the musical “Good News”
“Puttin’ on the Ritz” Irving Berlin
“(I Scream You Scream, We All Scream for) Ice Cream”, Howard Johnson, Billy Maul, Robert A. King
“I can’t help my beloved Datman”; “All Man River”, Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern.From the musical “Showboat”
“Potato Head Blues, Gully Lowe Blues” Louis Armstrong
Above: A statue of Sherlock Holmes in front of Baker Street Station in London. This character will enter his US public domain in 2023.