Public domain 2022

I meant to post this closer to New Year but got distracted. On January 1 we got a new raft of works entering the public domain. Some of them already were in the public domain… some of them were PD but being held hostage by copyright squatters. But now, all of these works are undeniably in the PD.


The Castle , by Franz Kafka

The Celestial City , by Baroness Orczy

Clouds of Witness , by Dorothy L. Sayers

The Death Ship , by B. Traven

Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man , by Marquis de Sade

A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle , by Hugh MacDiarmid (poetry)

Enough Rope , by Dorothy Parker (poetry)

The Hounds of Spring , by Sylvia Thompson

The Hungry Tiger of Oz , by Ruth Plumly Thompson

The Incredulity of Father Brown , by G.K. Chesterton

The Land , by Vita Sackville-West (poetry)

The Land of Mist , by A. Conan Doyle

Lolly Willowes , by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Lud-in-the-Mist , by Hope Mirrlees

Mary , by Vladimir Nabokov

The Moon Maid , by Edgar Rice Burroughs

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd , by Agatha Christie

My Mortal Enemy , by Willa Cather

Notes On Democracy, by H.L. Mencken

Number 17 , by Joseph Jefferson Farjeon

Payment Deferred , by C.S. Forester

The Plough and the Stars , by Sean O’Casey (play)

The Plumed Serpent , by D.H. Lawrence

Ralph 124C 41+, by Hugo Gernsback

Seven Pillars of Wisdom , by T.E. Lawrence

Show Boat , by Edna Ferber

Smoky the Cowhorse , by Will James

Soldiers’ Pay , by William Faulkner

The Sun Also Rises , by Ernest Hemingway

Topper , by Thorne Smith

The Torrents of Spring , by Ernest Hemingway

The Treasure of the Lake , by H. Rider Haggard

The Weary Blues , by Langston Hughes (poetry)

Winne-the-Pooh , by A.A. Milne

The World of William Clissold , by H.G. Wells

Short Stories:

“The Adjuster”, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier”, by A. Conan Doyle

“The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane”, by A. Conan Doyle

“The Adventure of the Retired Colourman”, by A. Conan Doyle

“The Adventure of the Three Gables”, by A. Conan Doyle

“He”, by H.P. Lovecraft

“L’Aviateur”, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“Mulliner’s Buck-U-Uppo”, by P.G. Wodehouse

“A Nursery Tale”, by Vladimir Nabokov

“The Outsider,” by H.P. Lovecraft

“The Rich Boy”, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The Rocking-Horse Winner”, by D.H. Lawrence

“The Truth About George”, by P.G. Wodehouse

“Useless Beauty”, by Guy de Maupassant

“The Virgin and the Gipsy”, by D.H. Lawrence


Battling Butler (Buster Keaton)

Beau Geste (Ronald Colman)

The Bells (Barrymore & Karloff)

The Black Pirate (Douglas Fairbanks)

Don Juan (John Barrymore)

Faust (F.W. Murnau dir.)

For Heaven’s Sake (Harold Lloyd)

The General (Buster Keaton)

The Great Gatsby (Warner Baxter)

Kid Boots (Eddie Cantor & Clara Bow)

Nana (Jean Renoir dir.)

The Scarlet Letter (Lillian Gish)

The Sea Beast (John Barrymore)

The Son of the Sheik (Valentino)

So’s Your Old Man (W.C. Fields)

Tartuffe (F.W. Murnau dir.)

The Volga Boatman (Cecil B. DeMille dir.)

What Price Glory? (Edmund Lowe & Victor McLaglen)

45 Minutes From Hollywood (Laurel & Hardy, pre-partnership)


“Baby Face” (Davis/Akst)

“The Birth of the Blues” (DeSylva/Brown/Henderson)

“Black Bottom Stomp” (Morton)

“The Blue Room” (Hart/Rodgers)

“Blue Skies” (Berlin)

“Bye Bye Blackbird” (Dixon/Henderson)

“Deed I Do” (Hirsch/Rose)

“The Desert Song” (Harbach/Hammerstein/Romberg)

“East St. Louis Toodle-oo” (Miley/Ellington)

“The Girl Friend” (Hart/Rodgers)

“Hesitation Blues” (Smythe/Middleton/Gillham)

“Hey Gypsy, Play Gypsy” (Kalman/Grey/Foley)

“If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight” (Creamer/Johnson)

“In a Little Spanish Town” (Lewis/Young/Wayne)

“It All Depends On You” (DeSylva/Brown/Henderson)

“Mountain Greenery” (Hart/Rodgers)

“Muskrat Ramble” (Ory)

“One Alone” (Harbach/Hammerstein/Romberg)

“Someone To Watch Over Me” (Gershwin/Gershwin)

“Sunny Disposish” (Gershwin/Charig)

“Tonight You Belong To Me” (Rose/David)

“Valencia” (Boyer/Charles/Grey/Padilla)

“When the Red Red Robin (Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’ Along)” (Woods)

“Where’d You Get Those Eyes?” (Donaldson)

Classical Music:

Ballet mecanique , by George Antheil

Concerto for Harpsichord , by Manuel de Falla

Pater Noster , by Igor Stravinsky

Piano Concerto , by Aaron Copland

Piano Concerto No. 1 , by Bela Bartok

Tapiola , by Jean Sibelius

Turandot , by Giacomo Puccini (opera)

Theme and Variation on Music from a Garage , by Ferde Grofe


The Desert Song (Romberg)

The Girl Friend (Rodgers & Hart)

Oh, Kay! (The Gershwins & P.G. Wodehouse)


The Basket of Bread (Dali)

The Cello Player (Dickinson)

The Difficult Crossing (Magritte)

Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress (Kahlo)

Spoon Woman (Giacometti)

Yellow Odalisque (Matisse)


I got a couple of those 99-cent collections of Arthur Conan Doyle and loved them much more than I thought I would. Some surprisingly feminist tales among them!

More Wodehouse and Rider Haggard are always a plus in my book, and Father Brown! Scrumptious!


I’m more interested at this point seeing what the Walt Disney Company does over the next two years with regards to copyright law. It’s worked extremely hard over the past few decades to extend the U.S. copyright period, particularly that for corporate copyright owners, but given the gridlocked state of the Congress these days there is not a lot of time left to once again extend the copyright on the appearance of Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie before it expires on January 1, 2024.


From what I gather, there are people in England who had some relative 500 years ago paint some flower and the copyright passed down through the family.

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I’d have to dig a bit to substantiate that, but since modern English copyright law is already having to work around a few fairly ancient “perpetual copyright” and “royal prerogative” issues, it wouldn’t surprise me. And royalties on Peter Pan are to be collected in perpetuity as they benefit the Great Ormond Street Hospital. But that last certainly doesn’t apply to Disney’s Peter Pan, except that I think Disney has to pay royalties for its adapatation of the story.


I was thinking exactly this! I used to read tons of their books on my Kindle. I love Jeeves and Allan Quatermain!


What annoys me is that in other countries it’s life+50 or life+70, but Disney wrote American copyright laws, so it takes a lot longer for many works which are already PD in countries like Australia and the UK to become PD in the U.S. and with the internet being international, it’s mostly pointless.


What a wealth of treasures! Besides all the fabulous literature and poetry, I’m happy to see more Murnau and Renoir films in the PD. Also great to welcome fantastic music like Ballet mecanique and Tapiola.

Agreed, that is deeply offensive. Particularly since so much of their catalogue is built upon the public domain works of others. Truly the dog in the manger.

For a good look at what other countries have in public domain literature versus the US, check out the Delphi Classics catalogue and compare the anemic US editions with the International ones.


Heyyy, Topper! Now there’s a book I don’t often hear about. One of my uncles brought a small selection of paperbacks to a family reunion years ago, and Topper was one of them. It’s not an amazing book, but I found it to be rather fun, and it inspired me to do a proper Thorne Smith binge-read. I’m excited to see if Topper being in the public domain will invite anyone else to be exposed to the story.

(I know it has a movie adaptation with Cary Grant, but no one I know of remembers or knows about it.)


Not only was there a movie adaptation, there were two sequels and a TV series. Cary Grant was only in the first film though.


Oh yeah, I forgot about the TV series. I watched some clips from it a WHILE ago, but overall wasn’t interested. I did vaguely recall that there was more than one movie, but I didn’t check the sequels out myself. (I did read Thorne Smith’s Topper Takes A Trip)

Ultimately, I brought the first movie up to point out how, even though there was a movie adaptation with such a well known name as Cary Grant, (and as you’ve brought up, there are TWO other movies AND a TV show!), there’s barely anyone who remembers Topper as a property/story.


You and I remember at least! Wikipedia says there was also going to be a Topper remake in the late 90s, but it fell through.


I am just looking forward to more movies/television shows, with new stories, because Copyright Free is why we have SO MANY versions of Le Mis, and The Three Musketeers. :rofl:
ETA: Here is a great article from the Internet Archive Blog:
Three Ways to Celebrate the Public Domain in 2022


Not much HRH left to go, really. He died in the late '20s.

As for Thorne Smith, I’m a big fan, myself. Love Topper, Turnabout (movie there with Adolphe Menjou, I think, and Carole Landis), The Bishop’s Jaegers is probably my favorite.

I liked I Married A Witch, too, though it was just based on some notes or a partial screenplay.


Damn. What a year.

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I’m old enough to just kinda vaguely remember the TV series. I remember my mom watching it, but not much about it (I was a toddler, so memories are very vague at that point).

The second Topper movie is PD, so it crops up every so often in my Roku feed.


I don’t remember the Topper TV series very well, but I do remember it.
Stephen Sondheim wrote some of the series’ episodes when he was just starting out.


Looks like two Sondheim-penned Topper episodes are on YouTube. I’ll have to check them out.


There was also a made for TV movie with…uh…Andrew Stevens and Kate Jackson as the ghosts. Since she didn’t have to be “the smart one” on “Charlie’s Angels”, they could actually glam her up a bit.

Jack Warden was Topper. Way too freakin’ old for the part. Rue McClanahan was Mrs. Topper.

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