The moon belongs to everyone, so says the 1927 hit musical composition, “The Best Things In Life Are Free.” We agree! In January of 2023, a treasure trove of new cultural works will become as free as the moon and the stars, and we at Internet Archive, Creative Commons and many other leaders from the open world plan to throw a party to celebrate!
Next year, works published in 1927 will join the myriad creative building blocks of our shared culture heritage. The public domain will grow richer with books from authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf, silent film classics like the controversial The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson and Fritz Lang’s dystopian Metropolis, and snappy musical compositions like You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream.
You can welcome new public domain works and party with us two ways:
Join us for a virtual party on January 19, 2023 at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern time where we will celebrate our theme, The Best Things In Life Are Free, with a host of entertainers, historians, librarians, academics, activists and other leaders from the open world, including additional sponsoring organizations Library Futures, SPARC, Authors Alliance, Public Knowledge, and the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain. REGISTER FOR THE VIRTUAL EVENT HERE!
The Internet Archive will also host an in-person Film Remix Contest Screening Party on January 20, 2023 at 6pm at 300 Funston Ave in San Francisco. We will celebrate 1927 as founding year of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, while watching this year’s Public Domain Day Remix Contest winning entries, eating popcorn and ice cream. Come dressed in your best golden age of Hollywood inspired costume and walk the red carpet with the Internet Archive as we celebrate the entry of “talkies” into the public domain. REGISTER FOR THE IN-PERSON PARTY IN SAN FRANCISCO HERE!
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:
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)
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)