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Monday, July 15, 2024

"Steamboat Willie" is a public domain film.

Movie"Steamboat Willie" is a public domain film.

The internet was flooded with "Steamboat Willie" meme as soon as the clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve. As the calendar flips to a new year, there are plenty of famous works free for anyone to use as they please. The public domain has more than one Mickey Mouse cartoon produced in the 1920s. The short, which was converted into a sound cartoon, was eligible for the public domain after Disney submitted it for copyright in 1928. The parody of the 1927 film The Gaucho is a new arrival from the same year. These shorts were made for a mature audience before the studio pivoted to family friendly fare so the deliberately provocative parodies of Mickey that have started to appear aren't as far from the original as people may think. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is one of a few cartoons that have lost their copyright status this year. The studio built its legacy on adapting public domain works like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and turning them into animated blockbusters. Winnie-the-Pooh and other characters from the Hundred Acre Wood have been free of copyright and Disney's exclusive claim since 2022, but Tigger is a new addition to the pantheon. Tigger will be added to the mix of Blood And Honey 2 next month.

The English translation of All Quiet On The Western Front was copyrighted before it was made into a film. It has been more than 30 years since the film version of the gender-bending historical epic was filmed, so the time might be right for a revival. The play The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur has been adapted before, as well as Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H Lawrence. This year also marks the entry of poetry collections by Robert Frost.

Hollywood was still transitioning from the age of silent films and into a new era of talkies in 1928, and the year saw notable releases in both formats. The follow-up to The Jazz Singer, The Singing Fool, came out that year as well as an early gangster film called Lights of New York. The Cameraman, The Circus, and Should Married Men Go Home?, were some of the best silent comedies. The first film to be eligible for the Academy Awards was released in 1928. Wings, the first film to win Best Picture, was honored at the inaugural ceremony in 1929. You can now cover some of the songs without paying royalties. The recordings made in 1923 are free to use by the public.

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