1923 Public Domain game jam

edited January 4 in Make Stuff!
January 1st marked the first time in decades that old creative works entered the public domain (under US copyright law).

So there's game design competition / game design jam being run to celebrate this fact on itch.io, for digital and analog games both. You should check it out.

https://itch.io/jam/gaming-like-its-1923


There's a lot of really interesting stuff that was copyrighted in 1923 that now is free for you to play around with.


(I'm not affiliated with the people running the game jam. I just think it's a great idea, and I thought that people around here might be interested in it.)

Comments

  • Hah, that's a fun idea for a game design thing. Commendable.
  • In case anyone might find it useful, here's a link to some of the Weird Tales stories published in 1923, including Dagon by Lovecraft:
    https://epdf.tips/download/the-best-of-weird-tales-1923.html
  • @NickWedig FYI the second link is broken.
  • Darn. Duke University had a nice spreadsheet of newly public domain material, but it seems to be gone now.

    You can check out these links here for more material, though: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/qvq99b/how-to-download-the-books-that-just-entered-the-public-domain
  • Precious info. Thanks !
  • I got about halfway into my adaptation of a work from the July 1923 Vanity Fair when I realized I couldn't use the period illustrations because they were done by a Belgian guy who died in the 1970s, so they're still under copyright.
  • JDCorley said:

    I got about halfway into my adaptation of a work from the July 1923 Vanity Fair when I realized I couldn't use the period illustrations because they were done by a Belgian guy who died in the 1970s, so they're still under copyright.

    My understanding (based on this government document) is that everything published in 1923 or before is now in the public domain, with a maximum copyright duration of 95 years (originally shorter, but with repeated extensions throughout the 20th century). The lifespan of the artist +70 years is only used to determine copyright length on works copyrighted later on.

    But intellectual property law is complicated and often counter-intuitive, and I'm not an IP lawyer. So I could be totally wrong on that.
  • edited January 4
    NickWedig said:

    My understanding (based on this government document) is that everything published in 1923 or before is now in the public domain, with a maximum copyright duration of 95 years (originally shorter, but with repeated extensions throughout the 20th century). The lifespan of the artist +70 years is only used to determine copyright length on works copyrighted later on.

    Do note that this only is applied on works produced in the States. For the rest of the world, we're under the Berne convention, stating that a work is protected under copyright laws for [year of artist's death + 70 years]. (Exception for photographs, where they become public domain 50 years after the photo has been taken.)
    Is my copyright good in other countries?

    The United States has copyright relations with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, we honor each other's citizens' copyrights.
    https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#countries
  • I'm a judge! I hope you enter.
  • edited January 6
    Right - my guy, being Belgian, is covered until 2045. Fortunately the written work that he was illustrating was from a previous film script that just hadn't been Americanized before, so my argument is that his work is severable from the written work and so I can still proceed with the adaptation, but not with the genius woodcuts that accompanied it.
  • One week left to go!
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