By January 1, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Happy Public Domain Day!

A free audiobook from LibriVox is the perfect way to celebrate Public Domain Day – and to recognize LibriVox’s milestone of the 3,000 public domain title recorded by the dedicated cadre of volunteers. Here’s more from Public Domain Day’s website,where you can find search tools to determine if a work is in the public domain as well as a list of authors whose titles are released into the public domain on the first day of this brand new year:

On this day of great celebrations worldwide, we also invite to celebrate the impressive wealth of knowledge, information and beauty that today, like every year on this day, becomes freely available to humankind. Every year on New Year’s Day, in fact, due to the expiration of copyright protection terms on works produced by authors who died several decades earlier, thousands of works enter the public domain – that is, their content is no longer owned or controlled by anyone, but it rather becomes a common treasure, available for anyone to freely use for any purpose.

Such works can also become a building block for new creations: people can transform a poem into song lyrics, or make a movie based on a public domain novel (check your local movie theaters to see how often that happens!). Literary works can be published on personal website and/or printed for friends or school distribution. Of course, you can also decide, for instance, to professionally print a beautiful hardcover leather-bound edition of a public domain book and sell it for a profit, while the book content will remain available for anyone to use freely. And the same goes for images, art works and other kinds of creative works entering the public domain under the same term expiration rule.

This Public Domain Day (each year’s January 1st) website is an initiative of COMMUNIA, the European Thematic Network on the Digital Public Domain. Our aim is to raise worldwide awareness about the role of the public domain in our societies and to provide resources and information. Feel free to browse our website and related links and pages – to find greater inspiration and enjoy the creative and entrepreneurial freedom granted to everybody by the public domain.

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About the Author:

Mary Burkey is an independent library consultant in Columbus (OH). An enthusiastic audiophile, she has served on all four of ALA's audiobook award committees as well as the Audies. In addition to writing the "Voices in My Head" column for Booklist, she is the author of Audiobooks for Youth: A Practical Guide to Sound Literature (ALA, 2013). Follow her on Twitter at @mburkey.

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