Entertainment

Actions

Winnie-the-Pooh, Bambi among works entering public domain in 2022

Works include 400,000 sound recordings
The first edition covers of "Winnie-the-Pooh" by A.A. Milne, and "Bambi, A Life in the Woods" by Felix Salten
Posted at 12:52 PM, Jan 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-02 14:52:39-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The original stories of Winnie-the-Pooh and Bambi have now entered the public domain as of Saturday.

In addition to being the first day of the new year, January 1st was also Public Domain Day, where previously copyrighted works enter the public domain, which means they can be shared, published, adapted, and performed without paying any licensing fees to the copyright holders.

According to Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, works that were originally published in 1926 are now in the public domain in the United States. These range from a myriad of books, films, music compositions, and, thanks to the 2018 Music Modernization Act, an estimated 400,000 sound recordings from before 1923.

Among those recordings are performances by the groups such as The Sousa Band, led by John Philip Sousa, as well as solo artists such as Bert Williams, the first Black artist to star in a leading role on Broadway.

"For us, these recordings provide an aural time capsule, a way of capturing fragments of the past," said Jennifer Jenkins, the director for the center in an article posted Saturday to the center's website. "You can browse pop stars from Billy Murray to Harry Lauder, or hear John Phillip Sousa’s marches. But you also get a glimpse of the politics of the time."

Here are some of the most notable works that have now entered the public domain as of Saturday.

Books

“Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne, the first book of stories featuring the characters of Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Owl, and Christopher Robin. Characters introduced in later stories, such as Tigger, won’t enter the public domain until 2024.

“Bambi, A Life in the Woods” by Felix Salten, the original novel that served as the basis for the 1942 animated film, “Bambi,” produced by Walt Disney Productions.

“The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” by T.E. Lawrence, the autobiography that served as the basis for the 1962 Academy Award-winning film, "Lawrence of Arabia."

“The Murder of Roger Ackroyd” by Agatha Christie, the third full novel featuring detective Hercule Poirot.

“The Sun Also Rises” by Ernest Hemingway, his first published novel.

“The Weary Blues” by Langston Hughes, his first published collection of poems.

“Soldiers’ Pay” by William Faulkner, his first published novel, although there is debate as to whether this was the first novel Faulkner had written.

“Enough Rope” by Dorothy Parker, her first published volume of poetry.

Films

“Moana” by Robert J. Flaherty, not to be confused with the Disney film of the same name, this film is a docufiction film shot in Samoa. At the time, it was presented as a documentary depicting the traditional life of Polynesians, but was later revealed to have staged a number of sequences, much like Flaherty’s previous film, “Nanook of the North.”

“The Son of the Sheik” by George Fitzmaurice, the silent film sequel to the 1921 film, "The Sheik", which featured the final on-screen performance of Rudolph Valentino prior to his death.

“The Cohens and Kellys” by Harry A. Pollard, a silent comedy that was the subject of the lawsuit Nichols v. Universal, where it was ruled that stock characters and universal story elements could not be copyrighted.

“Don Juan” by Alan Crosland, the first feature-length film to use the Vitaphone sound-on-disc system for its musical score and sound effects, although it has no spoken dialogue.

“Faust” by F.W. Murnau, a silent film adaptation of Goethe’s play of the same name. It is the last film Murnau shot in Germany before moving to the US.

Music Compositions

“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” by Irving Berlin

“Snag it” by Joseph ‘King’ Oliver

“Bye Bye Black Bird” by Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon

“Black Bottom Stomp” by Ferd ‘Jelly Roll’ Morton

“Someone to Watch Over Me” by George and Ira Gershwin

“Nessun Dorma” from “Turandot” by Giacomo Puccini, Franco Alfano, Giusseppe Adami, and Renato Simoni

“Are You Lonesome To-Night” by Roy Turk and Lou Handman

“When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along” by Harry Woods

“Ke Kali Nei Au (Waiting for Thee)” by Charles E. King

Sound Recordings

"My Man" and "Second Hand Rose" by Fanny Brice

"The Tale of the Bumble Bee" by Jules Levy

"Nobody," "Let It Alone," and "Everybody Wants a Key to My Cellar" by Bert Williams

"Too Much Mustard" by Europe's Society Orchestra

"The Star Spangled Banner," "Semper Fidelis" and multiple other marches by The Sousa Band.

For a more comprehensive look at the list of works, you can visit the Duke University's Center for the Study of the Public Domain website here.