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CopyTalk: Where oh where is the public domain?

Copytalk cup of coffee with beans on the rim of the saucer.
Join us for the next CopyTalk on Thursday, December 7.

We have another cool CopyTalk planned for December 7th! Mark your calendars for 2pm Eastern/11:00am Pacific time for our one-hour session on the public domain.

We often assume that older works are in the public domain, but how can we know for sure? Peter Hirtle, the author of the frequently cited resource, “Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States“, will provide an overview of the public domain: what it is, how works rise into it, what is copyright renewal, and some of the common mistakes he has made when trying to determine the public domain status of a work.

Peter Hirtle is an Affiliate Fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Until his retirement from Cornell in 2015, he served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Cornell University Library with a special mandate to address intellectual property issues. He is an archivist by training with an MA in History from Johns Hopkins and an MLS with a concentration in archival science from the University of Maryland. Hirtle is a Fellow and Past President of the Society of American Archivists and is a member of its Working Group on Intellectual Property. He was a member of the Copyright Office’s Section 108 Study Group and a contributing author to the blog.

Day/Time: Thursday, December 7th at 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific for our hour long free webinar. Go to and sign in as a guest. You’re in!

This will be recorded and available in the CopyTalk archive at

This program is brought to you by OITP’s copyright education subcommittee.

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Carrie Russell

Carrie Russell is the director of the Program on Public Access to Information in the Washington Office. Her portfolio includes copyright, international copyright, accessibility, e-books, and other public policy issues. She has an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MA in media arts from the University of Arizona.

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