Top 10 Things That Will Enter the Public Domain by 2040The Public Domain is a place where things a free from the evil clutches of copyright. But with 2040 being 20 years away, I think it's time to discuss things that'll enter into the Public Domain by 2040. For something to be on this list, they have to be made earlier than 1945. So if anything was produced before then, it's fair game! Let's go!
Here's something interesting. Disney is one of those companies that treat copyright as a shield for protection. But little do they know that their mascot, Mickey Mouse, will become free to use in the year 2024. Well, at least the first incarnation made by Disney himself. And that's going to be a serious jab at Disney because once this happens, there's no way of regaining copyrights for him as no one will own him again. I mean look, Mickey's cousin, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit's set to arrive in 2023 and Disney's doing nothing about it.
I feel like a better comparison here is Pete. From a modern perspective, Pete's much more important to Disney than Oswald is (the fact that Disney never lost the rights to Pete helps things), and yet Pete entered public domain last year with no issues.
Interesting list, didn't know about many of these!
Taking the silver slot, we have Mickey's mortal rival Bugs Bunny. Bugs Bunny made his first debut in 1938 as the mascot of Warner Bros. But unlike Mickey Mouse, there are a few shorts starring him already in the Public domain. Though I'm pretty sure that unlike Disney, Warner Bros won't have a hissy fit when this happens.
The name of the character will still be copyrighted until 2037 (as it was made up in 1941).
Babar is another children's book series that'll become copyright free in a few years. Babar made his debut in 1931 exactly three years after Mickey took the spotlight. Meaning if we do the math, then Babar will become free to the public in 2027.
Next up on the chopping block, we have Madeline. Now unlike the previous two entries, this is actully a children's book revolving around the misadventures of a French girl. Now the book was first published in 1939 and will become uncopyrighted in in the year 2035. This actully wasn't the first time an iconic kids book did this as Whine the Pooh entered the public domain just recently (2022 actully)!
Now were on to another thing that was sadly taken away by the clutches of Disney. This logo, specifically, it's first logo from 1935 and it's variants used untill 1993 will go copyright free.
I would love to see what they do in the future!
Now we're on to an iconic show. Tom and Jerry was first introduced to both kids and adults alike in 1940. And as such, it'll enter into the Public Domain in 2036.
Have you ever feared of going to jail because of Monopoly, well once 2031 hits, you won't have to worry about it at all. This is because that like the previously mention 20th Century Fox logo, Monopoly was first copyrighted in 1935. Hence it breaking free from copyright will take place in 2031.
Next up on the chopping block, we have this super obscure network that tried to compete with the big boys that are ABC, NBC, and CBS (NBC in particular is turning 100 in 2026). The DuMont Network was short lived. Only living from 1942 until 1956 and most of it's affiliates went on to become famous TV networks (on even being KTLA, a station famous for it's news). Though most of the Dumont Library will be free to use in 2038.
And finally, we have oh, another 2034er I see. Superman made his debut in 2038 (in a comic book) as DC Comic's mascot and the first thing we saw in Action Comics 1. Much like Bugs Bunny, Superman will go to the Public Domain in 2034.
Now we're on to The Jazz Singer. Which was the first ever film to have voice acting! Released by Warner Bros. in 1927, The Jazz Singer will go copyright free in 2023. Wow, come to think about it, movies have gone a long way since this came out in 1927.
Before Mickey Mouse, Oswald was the first character, because was created in 1927