Millions of Books Entered the Public Domain

Thanks to a project funded by the New York Public Library (and spearheaded by two of its employees), millions of books published before 1964 will soon be free to download and read. Historically, books published before 1964 were subject to a 28-year copyright term and after those years passed, the books would (likely, aside from exception) become public domain if the publisher or author did not renew the copyright. According to NYPL’s research, approximately 80% of books published between 1923 and 1964 did not have their copyrights renewed. Thus, they became free to download—but the computers tasked with decoding their status and uploading them for readers couldn’t manage the duty. Now, because NYPL converted the archived list to XML, libraries (like the NYPL, the HathiTrust, Project Gutenberg and more) can upload them with ease. Read more at Motherboard.