Jennifer Jenkins discusses the ambiguous battle over the Public Domain

June 16, 2014

Public Domain Day, which falls on January 1st, is intended to be a celebration of copyright expiration, a day when notable works enter the public domain. In 2014, Public Domain Day in Canada saw the writings of Robert Frost, W.E.B. Du Bois, C.S. Lewis, Sylvia Plath, and Aldous Huxley became public works, free for anyone to use and build upon. However, because of copyright extensions passed by the U.S. Congress, no published works entered the U.S. public domain in 2014, and nothing will until 2019. In this video, Jennifer Jenkins, Director of Duke Law's Center for the Study of the Public Domain, discusses her paper "In Ambiguous Battle: The Promise (And Pathos) of Public Domain Day, 2014." Jenkins offers an analysis of the issues surrounding existing copyright laws and discusses ongoing efforts to bolster open access to information.

Related paper: Jennifer Jenkins, In Ambiguous Battle: The Promise (And Pathos) Of Public Domain Day, 2014, 12 Duke Law & Technology Review 1-24 (2013). Available at: