Something happened on January 1, 2020, all works from 1924 became part of Public Domain.
I started to look into public domain quotes at the end of last year when I was pondering adding a service that would provide either Instagram or Facebook images that featured a silly ‘national’ holiday that you can find on the internet or used a famous quote. However since it was the at the end of the year things were crazy, other than a brief informal chat with an actual intellectual property lawyer I haven’t done any additional work to determine the legality of that product, so I have not yet launched anything.
So when I came across this Gizmodo article, Movies, Music, and Books That Enter the Public Domain Today which was shared on Facebook by an author that I follow, I knew that I had to read it. Then I followed links in the article and did some more searching on my own.
Here is a partial list of sites that I visited and read:
- Stanford University Libraries – Copyright Fair Use
- Duke Law – Center For the Study of the Public Domain
- Jane Friedman – A Writer’s Guide to Fair Use and Permissions (This post was updated in 2019)
- Emily McDowell – Using Famous Quotes On Products: When Is It OK? (from 2013)
After I had traversed a few articles it pretty much confirmed my opinion that copyright law is very complex and when in doubt ALWAYS ask a lawyer about your specific questions and needs. This post is to share with you the research that I have done as it applies to my business needs, this is not legal advice and should not be perceived as legal advice.
Now that I have done some research and looked at a few things online I have made a few decisions:
- I will make images for a silly ‘national holiday’ if it catches my interest (or it is requested)
- I will make images for quotes that are in the public domain
- I will make images that are business-specific upon request ( example: if you are an electrician and want to do a series of tips if you provide me the text I can add it to images and format it for Instagram or Facebook)
Please comment on my Facebook page and let me know if you use quotes as part of your social media campaigns, and how you make your images. Do you use a specific site, program, or simply use your own pictures.
NOTE: I am not being paid for my mentions of people, articles, products, or books I used above nor do I receive referral compensation. The
links I provide are for your convenience only.
DISCLAIMER: This advice is general in nature and not to be taken as personal professional advice. This blog does not provide legal advice if you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.