Art From 1923 Enters Public Domain

By Lura Jackson

Much of the art and creative works produced in 1923 have entered the public domain with the turning of 2019. A large selection of materials produced in that year can now be utilized by the public for any purpose without the permission of the copyright holder, by way of the Sonny Bono Copyright Act.

With the removal of copyright restrictions, the works can be reproduced and sold for profit, shown at free and for-profit movie screenings, or viewed online at no cost, among other purposes. In the case of books, digital versions can be accessed at Project Gutenberg (


The list of materials includes a large selection of feature- and short-length silent films with stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, and Buster Keaton, and cartoons with stars such as Felix the Cat. For music, anyone can now enjoy or repurpose classics like Yes! We Have No Bananas and the Charleston, along with a selection of early jazz and swing songs. Book readers will enjoy the finest breadth of options, from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet to Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Murder on the Links, and many more. Other authors with released works include H.G. Wells, Robert Frost, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Edith Wharton.