Tuesday, February 27 2024   \  Published by EUIPO.

Copyright: Artworks entering the public domain in 2024

Copyright: Artworks entering the public domain in 2024

2024 marks an important milestone for several artworks, as they enter the public domain. But what does it mean for a creative work to enter this realm? Let’s delve into the implications of artworks entering the public domain.

The public domain

Entering the public domain refers to the status of creative works where the intellectual property rights, such as copyright, have either expired or been waived. This means that they are no longer under the protection of copyright holders, allowing them to be freely used, reproduced and adapted by creatives, such as cartoonists, or indeed, anyone, without the need to seek permission or pay royalties.

Duration of copyright protection

The duration of copyright protection varies significantly throughout the world. In the European Union, the duration of copyright protection generally lasts for the lifetime of the author plus 70 years after their death. In the United States, copyright protection depends on several factors, including the date of first publication. Copyright on works created after 1 January 1978 also last for the life of the author plus 70 years, however works published before this date, anonymous works or pseudonymous works, have a copyright protection lasting for 95 years from the year of its first publication. The United Kingdom follow a similar model to the EU, with copyright typically lasting for the lifetime of the author plus 70 years. Read more

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