Domain range

Winnie-the-Pooh, Bambi, among works that have entered the public domain

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

Besides being the first day of the new year, January 1st was also Public Domain Day, when previously copyrighted works enter the public domain, meaning they can be shared, published, adapted and performed without paying license fees to rightholders author.

According to the Center for Public Domain Studies at Duke University, works originally published in 1926 are now in the public domain in the United States. These range from a myriad of books, films, musical compositions and, thanks to the Music Modernization Act 2018, to around 400,000 pre-1923 sound recordings.

Among these recordings are performances by bands such as The Sousa Band, led by John Philip Sousa, as well as solo artists such as Bert Williams, the first black performer to have a leading role on Broadway.

“For us, these recordings provide an aural time capsule, a way to capture fragments of the past,” said Jennifer Jenkins, director of the center. in an article published Saturday on the center’s website. “You can browse pop stars from Billy Murray to Harry Lauder, or hear the marches of John Phillip Sousa. But you also get insight into the politics of the time.”

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


“Winnie-the-Pooh” by AA Milne, the first storybook featuring the characters of Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Owl and Christopher Robin. Characters introduced in later stories, like 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 TE Lawrence, the autobiography that served as the basis for the 1962 Oscar-winning film, “Lawrence of Arabia.”

Agatha Christie’s “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”, the third full-length 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 some debate as to whether this was the first novel Faulkner had written.

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


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

George Fitzmaurice’s ‘The Sheik’s Son’, the silent film sequel to the 1921 film, ‘The Sheik’, which featured Rudolph Valentino’s last screen performance before his death.

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

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

“Faust” by FW Murnau, a silent film adaptation of Goethe’s play of the same name. It was the last film Murnau shot in Germany before moving to the United States.

Musical compositions

“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” by Irving Berlin

“Hang It” by Joseph ‘King’ Oliver

“Goodbye 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, the Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along” door Harry Woods

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

Sound recordings

“My Man” and “Second Hand Rose” by Fanny Brice

“The Tale of the Bumblebee” 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 several other Sousa Band marches.

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