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New copyright works enter the public domain

7 January 2015

As certain as death and taxes, the New Year welcomes a fresh pool of artists whose works are no longer protected by copyright in the UK.

The 2015 list features Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Scream’ and the musings of British poet and critic Edith Sitwell. The good news for the public is that from 1 January 2015 the originals of these works can, in most cases, be used in the UK without seeking permission from the copyright owner.

To avoid accidental infringement users should, however, be mindful of three common pitfalls: reproductions and adaptations are in themselves works distinct from the original works and may still have many years of copyright protection remaining; there may be other forms of protection, such as trade marks, to consider; and potential usage is likely to be restricted, particularly online, if the original works are still protected by copyright in other countries.

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