These Books Will Enter the Public Domain in 2024

Dec 30, 2023
Dimitris Passas

NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: Kirkus Reviews (by Michael Schaub).

It’s almost New Year’s Day, which means more than fireworks and champagne for literary types. Some of the most influential books released in 1928 will be entering the public domain in the U.S., meaning they’ll be free for anyone to publish or adapt.

The Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School published a list of some notable titles that will be up for grabs in 2024 under the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act.

D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley's Lover will enter the public domain next week. The controversial novel was the subject of a British obscenity trial, and its full version remained unpublished in that country until 1960. It was also banned in the U.S. for three decades, until a court allowed its publication in 1959.

Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, which challenged prevailing views of gender and sexuality, will be open for republication or adaptation, as will Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, a groundbreaking work of lesbian literature.

The original German-language versions of two classic works will also be up for grabs: Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera and Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front.

Also entering the public domain are W.E.B. Du Bois’ Dark Princess, Claude McKay’s Home to Harlem, Evelyn Waugh’s Decline and Fall, and Agatha Christie’s The Mystery of the Blue Train.

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