Author archives

Jennifer Jenkins, Clinical Professor of Law Director, Center for the Study of the Public Domain. Jennifer Jenkins is a Clinical Professor of Law teaching intellectual property and Director of Duke's Center for the Study of the Public Domain, where she heads its Arts Project - a project analyzing the effects of intellectual property on cultural production, and writes its annual Public Domain Day website. She is the co-author (with James Boyle) of the open coursebook Intellectual Property: Cases and Materials (5th ed, 2021) and two comic books -- Theft! A History of Music, a 2000-year history of musical borrowing and regulation, and Bound By Law?, a comic book about copyright, fair use and documentary film. Her articles include Mark of the Devil: The University as Brand Bully (with James Boyle), In Ambiguous Battle: The Promise (and Pathos) of Public Domain Day and Last Sale? Libraries' Rights in the Digital Age. Her upcoming publications include a book on Music Copyright, Creativity, and Culture (forthcoming from Oxford University Press). She has been widely quoted on intellectual property matters in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, LA Times, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian. Her radio and TV appearances include segments on Planet Money, CBS This Morning, and NPR’s Weekend Edition, Morning Edition, and Marketplace. While in practice, she was a member of the team that defended the copyright infringement suit against the publisher of the novel The Wind Done Gone (a parodic rejoinder to Gone with the Wind) in SunTrust v. Houghton Mifflin. While a student at Duke, she also co-authored, filmed, and edited “Nuestra Hernandez,” a video addressing copyright, appropriation, and culture. Jenkins received her B.A. in English from Rice University, her J.D. from Duke Law School, and her M.A. in English from Duke University.

January 1, 2024 Was Public Domain Day

Duke Law School Center for the Study of the Public Domain, Director Jennifer Jenkins heralds that on January 1, 2024 thousands of copyrighted works from 1928 entered the US public domain, along with sound recordings from 1923. They will be free for all to copy, share, and build upon. This year’s highlights include Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence and The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht, Buster Keaton’s The Cameraman and Cole Porter’s Let’s Do It, and a trove of sound recordings from 1923. And, of course, 2024 marks the long-awaited arrival of Steamboat Willie – featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse – into the public domain. That story is so fascinating, so rich in irony, so rife with misinformation about what you will be able to do with Mickey and Minnie now that they are in the public domain that it deserved its own article, “Mickey, Disney, and the Public Domain: a 95-year Love Triangle.” Why is it a love triangle? What rights does Disney still have? How is trademark law involved? Here is just a handful of the works that will be in the US public domain in 2024.  They were first set to go into the public domain after a 56-year term in 1984, but a term extension pushed that date to 2004. They were then supposed to go into the public domain in 2004, after being copyrighted for 75 years. But before this could happen, Congress hit another 20-year pause button and extended their copyright term to 95 years. Now the wait is over.

Subjects: Copyright, Education, Legal Research, Libraries & Librarians