Friday, 2 January 2015
New Year, Free Scream...
In Europe, the list is headed by three giants of the art world - Kandinsky, Mondrian and Munch, as well as the architect Lutyens (designer of New Delhi, the Cenotaph in London etc), W. Heath Robinson, Keith Douglas (in this writer's opinion the greatest English poet of the Second World War) and the bandleader Glenn Miller.
The Public Domain Review has a longer list here including not only those who died in 1944 and therefore become public domain in Europe, but some of those who died in 1964 (such as Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond) and therefore become public domain in those countries which still have 50 year pma copyright terms.
The most interesting example, however, is that of Antione de Saint-Exupery, author of "The Little Prince" whose death in active combat in 1944 shows us how far we still have to go to fully harmonise copyright in Europe (as advocated recently by the Copyright Society of Europe, discussed on the IPKat)
Under French copyright law which was in place prior to the harmonisation of EU copyright, Saint-Exupery is treated as "Mort pour la France" and accordingly his works were granted (in 1948) an additional 30 years of copyright protection. This suggests that they will not become public domain in France until 2044, although there is some academic debate as to the interplay between that extension and the EU harmonisation of term.
Those interested in the topic can read more about it in Christina Angelopoulos' excellent paper "The Myth of European Term Harmonisation:
27 Public Domains for the 27 Member States" and indeed use the online "public domain calculator" tool here.