‘Winnie the Pooh’, 400,000 sound recordings enter the public domain

AA Milne Winnie the Pooh, classic novels by Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie, and hundreds of thousands of sound recordings from before 1923 are among the works that entered the public domain on New Years Day 2022.

Dorothy Parker’s first collection of poems Enough rope, the first novel by William Faulkner Soldiers’ pay, and books by Langston Hughes, Willa Cather, TE Lawrence and more also joined Hemingway The sun is also rising and Christie’s The murder of Roger Ackroyd in the public domain, The Associated Press reported.

“When works fall into the public domain, they can be shared legally, without permission or charge. It’s something Winnie-the-Pooh would appreciate. Community theaters can show the films. Youth orchestras can perform the music publicly, without paying a license fee, ”Jennifer Jenkins, director of Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, wrote of the 2022 bounty on the Public Domain Day site.

“This allows access to cultural documents that might otherwise be lost to history. 1926 was a long time ago. The vast majority of works from 1926 are out of circulation. When they enter the public domain in 2022, anyone can save them from obscurity and make them available, where we can all discover them, enjoy them and breathe new life into them, ”noting how adaptations Shakespeare’s moderns would not be possible except for the public domain.

In addition, for the first time thanks to the passage of the Music Modernization Act in 2018, more than 400,000 sound recordings from the advent of sound recording technology until 1922 will also enter the field. public. This includes works by Mamie Smith, Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Ethel Waters, and hundreds more.

“On January 1, 2022, the doors will open for all the tapes that were waiting backstage,” Jenkins wrote. “Decades of recordings made from the advent of sound recording technology until the end of 1922 – estimated at some 400,000 works – will be open for legal reuse.”

However, the largest work to enter the public domain on January 1 is Milne’s premiere. Winnie the Pooh story, published in 1926 and, almost a century later, an estimated $ 1 billion franchise under the direction of Disney. USA today reported that although Disney’s own designs are filed under “The Mickey Mouse Protection Act,” since Winnie the Pooh and his friends were Milne’s invention, the company could lose its exclusivity on the character.

With Winnie-the-Pooh in the public domain, others would now be able to adapt the character and his friends – but not Tigger, who Milne created in 1928 and still under Disney rule for a few more years – in new works. However, Disney owns the copyright to their version of the Winnie the Pooh cartoons, so not all adaptations born of the book entering the public domain may closely resemble those of The Magic Kingdom.

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