The mouse that became Mickey will finally be free of his corporate captivity as the copyright term of the 1928 animated Disney film, Steamboat Willie, expires along with that of thousands of other cultural works on the first day of 2024.
The year 1928 brought us a host of still relevant, oft-revived and remixed culture, from H.P. Lovecraft’s classic horror story, “Call of Cthulhu” (originally published in Weird Tales; now currently a popular video game), to the Threepenny Opera, a critique of income inequality and the excesses of capitalism that is surprisingly on point for our current era.
And further, classic works of literature such as Orlando by Virginia Woolfe, Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, and Black Magic by Paul Mourad; children’s literature like House on Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne, which introduced the character Tigger, and Millions of Cats by Wanda Gág; movies like Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus, and Buster Keaton’s The Cameraman; and music like Dorothy Field’s “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby” and Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love” will grow the rich set of materials that are freely available to all of us as part of the public domain.
Join us for a virtual celebration at 10am PT / 1pm ET on January 25, 2024, with an amazing lineup of academics, librarians, musicians, artists and advocates coming together to help illuminate the significance of this new class of works entering the public domain!
Of course our program wouldn’t be complete without a discussion of Generative AI, which to some has become a new kind of Eldritch God unleashed upon humanity—a Chtulhu of sorts—out to alter or control human reality. New AI technologies have raised all kinds of questions about human creativity, and the various monsters we must vanquish in order to preserve it. We’ll get into all that and more in our panel discussion of AI, Creativity and the Public Domain.
This event is co-hosted by Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Authors Alliance, Public Knowledge, Library Futures, SPARC and the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain.