By Alex Kohn, Head of the Copyright Office
This week we are pleased to bring you this fully digitized copy of Evelyn Waugh’s famed 1945 novel Brideshead revisited.
We selected this volume for digitization in honour of Public Domain Day, which took place on the first day of this month. In Canada (and a host of other countries) copyright in a published work expires 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which its creator died. As such, on January 1st, 2017, published works by artists, writers and other creators who died in 1966, like Evelyn Waugh, legally entered the public domain. In countries with a “life +70 years” term of copyright, including Australia, Russian and much of the Europe Union, the works of authors who died in 1946 are now in the public domain. The U.S. too, has a “life + 70 years” copyright term, but due to copyright extension legislation, no published works will be entering the public domain on January 1st until at least 2019.
Once copyright has expired, neither permission nor payment are required to copy, distribute, modify or incorporate these works into new creative or intellectual works or make them available to the public in Canada.
The print copy of the novel is held in McGill Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections, a gift of the estate of Louis Dudek, poet, essayist, critic, and editor. Dudek (1918 – 2001) completed his studies at McGill and Columbia before joining the McGill Faculty of English in the 1950s as professor of modern poetry. The Louis Dudek Collection includes more than 6,000 titles, available for consultation in our reading room during opening hours.
McGill Library has an active digitization program and makes every effort to open up our rare and unique collections to the world by putting them online for everyone. A warm thank you to Jennifer Garland, Rare Books and Special Collections librarian and Greg Houston, Digitization and New Media Administrator for helping with this small project.