Surveying The Public Domain : 1A At midnight on New Year's Day, an array of songs, films and books from 1923 entered the public domain. That means no more copyright penalties or fees for anyone who wants to use them.

What's in this treasure trove? What can we do with it? And how do our copyright laws protect — or limit — creators?

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Surveying The Public Domain

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Surveying The Public Domain

1A

Surveying The Public Domain

Surveying The Public Domain

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1923: A scene from the silent version of the epic film 'The Ten Commandments', directed by Cecil B DeMille. The film entered the public domain on January 1st, 2019. Topical Press Agency/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images hide caption

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Topical Press Agency/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

1923: A scene from the silent version of the epic film 'The Ten Commandments', directed by Cecil B DeMille. The film entered the public domain on January 1st, 2019.

Topical Press Agency/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

As the world danced in the New Year, the U.S. was also partying like it's 19...23.

At midnight on New Year's Day, an array of songs, films and books from 1923 entered the public domain — like Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" and Louis Armstrong's "Coal Cart Blues."

That means no more copyright penalties or fees for anyone who wants to use them.

It's the first time in more than 20 years that works have been added to the U.S. public domain.

What's in this treasure trove? What can we do with it? And how do our copyright laws protect — or limit — creators?