Winnie the Pooh enters the public domain in 2022, along with Kafka
There are numerous, numerous films and television programs coming out next year connected to numerous copyrights. These productions, from Batman to Boba Fett, are all secured in the United States under a range of copyright laws rooted in the Constitution. However not whatever is hammered down under the veil of copyright. Every year, new works enter the public domain, meaning that anyone can create works based on them, and this year’s crop stretches all the way to the Hundred Acre Wood.
As noted by the Public Domain Review, there is no universal rule for what will and will not fall under public domain each year. That’s because different countries have different laws. Some countries, like the United Kingdom and Russia, have laws that protect intellectual home for the term of the creator’s life plus 70 years. Others, like Canada and New Zealand, go for the term of a person’s life plus 50 years.
But the United States has more complex laws, thanks to the Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998. The Extension Act, like its name suggests, allows for extensions to be placed on a copyright.
In 2022, works from 1926 are entering the general public domain after a 96-year extension. Many of the additions are obscure, but there are some big names among the bunch. Here are a few selections:
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Winnie the Pooh is about to become the rock star of the general public domain. The short story collection by British author A.A. Milne was a huge success at the time, with children falling in love with Pooh, Piglet, Eyeore, and Christopher Robin. However, this doesn’t mean you can suddenly sell t-shirts with Eyeore on them, asking if everyone else is having a fun time. Disney still very much owns the merchandising rights to Pooh, as proven in a 2012 lawsuit.
The Castle by Franz Kafka
One of Kafka’s three unfinished novels, The Castle tells the story of a land surveyor, named only K., who is summoned to a small town by its authorities. However, upon arrival, he finds that these authorities, who reside in the town’s castle, are mostly anonymous and have crafted a irrationally complex bureaucracy for every aspect of their citizenry’s lives. And what’s more, the townsfolk love it. At times surreal, The Castle shows Kafka’s expansive imagination working towards what he did best: finding a logical and sometimes horrifying conclusion.
It also inspired an accompanying album by the electronic group Tangerine Dream in 2013, which is pure vibes.
Faust, directed by. F.W. Murnau
One of the first great horror directors, Murnau is perhaps best known today for his 1922 vampire movie Nosferatu, however his 1929 adjustment of the story of the male who negotiated with Mephisto is simply as outstanding. The art work and information in Faust stay hypnotic to this day and stand as a shining example of German Expressionism, where the sensation stimulated by the set and characters is as essential as the script.
As director Shinji Aoyama as soon as stated when calling Faust among his leading 10 films of perpetuity, “I always want to remember that movies are made out of the joy of the replica. The fascination of movies is not their realism, but how to enjoy the ‘real’. In that sense, I always have Faust in my mind as I face a movie, make a movie, and talk about a movie.”
And thankfully, it’s currently on YouTube. We won’t inform if you begin viewing it prior to January first.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.