We are looking for artists of all levels to create and upload a short film of 2–3 minutes to the Internet Archive to help us celebrate Public Domain Day on 20 January 2023!
Public Domain Day is a celebration of all the rich materials that will be newly available to the public free of copyright restrictions. On January 1, 2023, most works published in 1927 will ascend into the Public Domain in the United States. We want artists to use this newly available content to create short films using resources from the Internet Archive’s collections from 1927.
The uploaded videos will be judged and prizes of up to $1500 awarded!! (Please see details below)
Winners will be announced and shown at the in-person Public Domain Day Celebration at the Internet Archive headquarters in San Francisco on 20 January 2023. All other participating videos will be added to a Public Domain Day Collection on archive.org and featured in a blog entry in January of 2023.
Here are a few examples of some of the materials that will become public domain on January 1, 2023:
- Books! e.g. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan-Doyle (vol I and vol II), Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather, and Mosquitoes by William Faulkner
- Periodicals! E.g. issues from Life, The Billboard, and The Saturday Evening Post
- Sheet Music! E.g. The Best Things in Life Are Free, You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream
- Movies! E.g. Metropolis, The Jazz Singer, and The King of Kings
Possible themes include, but are not limited to:
- The Best Things in Life Are Free
- Sleuthing the Public Domain
- What can 1927 teach us about 2023?
- Make a 2–3 minute movie using at least one work published in 1927 that will become Public Domain on January 1 , 2023. This could be a poem, book, film, musical composition, painting, photograph or any other work that will become Public Domain next year. The more different PD materials you use, the better!
- Note: If you have a resource from 1927 that is not available on archive.org, you may upload it and then use it in your submission. (Here is how to do that).
- Your submission must have a soundtrack. It can be your own voiceover or performance of a public domain musical composition, or you may use public domain or CC0 sound recordings from sources like Openverse and the Free Music Archive.
- Note: Sound recordings published before 1923 are in the public domain. Sound recordings published later than Jan 1, 1923 are NOT public domain, even if the underlying musical composition is, so watch out for this!
- Mix and Mash content however you like, but note that ALL of your sources must be from the public domain. They do not all have to be from 1927. Remember, U.S. government works are public domain no matter when they are published. So feel free to use those NASA images! You may include your own original work if you put a CC0 license on it.
- Add a personal touch, make it yours!
- Keep the videos light hearted and fun! (It is a celebration after all!)
All submissions must be in by Midnight, 16 January 2023 (PST)
How to Submit
- Create an Internet Archive Account
- Upload your film to archive.org with a subject tag field of “public domain day film contest 2023” in the upload form (see example here)
- Link all your sourced materials from 1927 in the upload description
- 1st prize: $1500
- 2nd prize: $1000
- 3rd prize: $500
*All prizes sponsored by the Kahle/Austin Foundation
Judges will be looking for videos that are fun, interesting and use public domain materials, especially those from 1927. They will be shown at the in-person Public Domain Day party and should highlight the value of having cultural materials that can be reused, remixed, and re-contextualized for a new day. Winners’ pieces will be purchased with the prize money, and viewable on the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons license.
- Amir Saber Esfahani (Director of Special Arts Projects, Internet Archive)
- Rick Prelinger (Board Member, Internet Archive, Founder, Prelinger Archives)
- Yuanxiao Xu (Deputy Counsel, Creative Commons)