We had the opportunity to visit the Internet Archive in San Francisco to celebrate the “grand reopening of the public domain in the United States.” For the first time since the extension of the copyright act in 1998, creative works were again entering the public domain. Public domain works are available for reuse and sharing without copyright restrictions.
The public domain varies from country to country. In Canada, most works enter the public domain 50 years after the author’s death. The public domain and the sharing of historical work is an important part of our shared culture. The public domain also enables access to cultural materials that might otherwise be lost to history.