Important Dates Concerning the Public Domain

The following dates apply to the USA only. We're concentrating on the USA as this has the most creative works available in the Public Domain. We'll come to the UK later on.

• DECEMBER 31st 1922

• 1st JANUARY 1923 – 31st DECEMBER 1963

• IMPORTANT NUMBERS: 28, 67 (or 95)

Anything published in the USA before 1923 ie up to December. 31st 1922, is in the public domain – period! Whatever it is, be it book, photo, painting, music * it does not matter – it's in the Public Domain which means you can do whatever you want with it.

* Actually only sheet music or song lyrics can be in the Public Domain in the USA – ALL music in the form of sound recordings are under copyright until at least 2067. However there is a way to download certain recordings and we'll cover those in another post which will also cover where to find them.

31st Jan. 1923 – 31st Dec. 1963 – Anything published between these two dates automatically came with a 28 year copyright. However if the copyright was NOT renewed in the 28th year then the work fell into the Public Domain. If it was renewed then the copyright extended for another 67 years or 95 years from first being published.

Example: If a work was published in 1930 and the copyright was renewed in 1958 then the copyright would not run out until 2025 (1958 + 67 years = 2025) The other calculation is to add 95 onto the year of publication which is in this case means 1930 + 95 = 2025. It just depends on whichever method you feel comfortable with.

Appropriately between 85% – 93% of all creative works published between these two dates NEVER had the copyright renewed. This means there is a vast ocean of in the available material for you to access and use in whichever way you want.

What about works published from 1964 onwards you might ask? Well from 1964 – 1977 copyright is automatically 95 years from date of publication which means it'll be 2059 before any of that material is in the Public Domain so it really is not relevant if, like me, you're in your 50's already !

This also applies to works published from 1978 onwards despite the length of time of copyright varies between 70 – 120 years or 75 years after the death of the author / creator. Again this is irrelevant for our purposes.

IMPORTANT – In the UK creative works have a copyright until the end of the 70th year after the death of the author / creator. Note that it's the end of the 70th year – not the 70th anniversary of the author's death. So if the author died in JUNE 1930 their work would not be in the Public Domain in the UK until the 1st January 2001

Now it's also important to note that even if the work was published and in the Public Domain in one country it does not mean it's in the Public Domain in another. A good example here is PETER PAN written by JM Barrie.

This was written in 1920 and published in the UK then. It was also published in the USA in 1922 so technically it was in the Public Domain in the USA but NOT in the UK as the author was still alive! In fact he did not die until 1937 so Peter Pan would not normally come into the public domain in the UK until 2008.

However an amendment to the 1988 Copyright Designs and Patents Act in the UK was passed to allow the copyright for Peter Pan to run indefinitely in the UK with all royalties being associated to the trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, for as long as the hospital exists.

The book could have been sold by anyone if they stayed in the USA without fear of violation of copyright but not so in the UK.

So you now know what dates to look for when searching for a product that's in the Public Domain. They are very important so keep them close for reference.

It's also important to note that there is a lot of information published that does not have copyright. This applications to government publications as these are produced for the general public and paid for out of public funds and so can be used by the general public in any legal way.

There are easy ways to find out if a product is in the Public Domain, especially books which are the most popular product searched for, but we'll talk about those in another post.

Renting Your Next Holiday Home

Renting your holiday home!

The DIY holiday property rental market has increased dramatically over the last few years. This is due to various factors including the explosion of the internet, a desire to cut out the commission charged by the high street travel agent, and the satisfaction of bringing one’s own research to fruition.

So what makes a good holiday home?

Requirements from a holiday home will differ from group to group and as will indeed the reason for the holiday. It is best to make a list for both, so that when you do your research you cover all the bases.

Expanding this point. You know your family or friends who will be holidaying with you. Would they be content to be in a remote spot, or do they prefer to be within walking distance of bars and restaurants and of course the beach? Do they wish to be near leisure activities such as horse riding or golf? If you have grandparents with you don’t forget that they may well want to be able to do there own thing. They will not want to be with you 24 x 7, they might wish to be able to walk into the village/town/resort to get treats for the kids, or just to have an hour on there own. Make sure you ask them what they want to get from the holiday. If you have teenagers/young adults with you, they may not thank you if there is nowhere to go ‘clubbing’. The aim is to keep everyone happy.

Villas

Renting villas for holidays is very popular, they provide a general feeling of luxury. A villa sleeping traditionally 2-20 can often be cheaper than renting a room or rooms in an apartment or hotel. Most villas come complete with an outdoor pool. However wonderful it sounds you must consider Health and Safety issues. Not many pools will be fenced off so you will have to watch small children closely. If teenagers remember they might be able to swim, however consider the effects of alcohol. Even a glass of wine over the family lunch can take effect in the heat! The good thing about villas are that one is not tied to meal times and you can do just as you please, eat outdoors or in, on site or go out.

Apartments

Apartments are one of the favourites with teenagers and families. The good thing about apartments is that they are normally grouped together around gardens/pools with a bar or and restaurant. If you have children or teenagers they can make new friends and to some extent amuse themselves. The owners may put on some entertainment. Check the advert for full details. The quality of apartments can vary so make sure you know what you are booking. There are varying types of rooms available ranging form studio’s, to 1, 2 or even 3 bedrooms. Fully consider your needs before make a booking. I always like to have more room than I need on holiday. So for example depending on price, for 2 persons, I tend to book a one bed roomed apartment rather than a studio. This provides that extra bit of space for your baggage.

Important points to consider when making your decision.

Cleaning: You will be expected to keep the villa/apartment reasonably clean and tidy. Check the detail on the website. One can sometimes arrange for someone to come and do the basics for you. This might be included in the price or incur an additional charge.

Linen change: Again check the detail regarding linen changes. Most adverts will offer a change on a 14 night holiday, however some will charge additional monies as well! If it is not clear on the advert ask! Also check regarding the provision of towels. Some properties provide even the beach towels which will save you quite a bit of weight for a large family. More room for duty free goods!

Directions: When booking check how you will receive the address and directions from the airport. Often the website permits these to be down loaded once full payment is obtained. Ask where the keys are collected from. It is not unusual to collect them form under the geranium pot outside, but you do need to know.

Terms and conditions: Make sure you fully read and understand these fully! These will inform you as the following: The time you can enter and must leave the premises, (You can sometimes re-arrange this to fit in with flight times); Security Deposits (This is a refundable deposit. A claim can be made against by the owner/agent for loss or breakages); and cancellation charges.

Welcome packs: Welcome packs are often either provided for free or at a modest cost, (on a per person basis). A pack will see you through your drink and possibly light meal. That said I know some owners/agents who supply a feast fit for a king or queen. Again check the advert. If a pack is not free do consider your arrival time at your holiday home. Will the shops be open? If likely to be closed you will be grateful for the basics to be delivered for you.

Vehicle hire: Some companies will provide vehicle hire as part of the package. Check the details. Your own car is very useful for getting around and seeing the best the area has to offer. Remember to take your driving licence with you. If a vehicle is not provided shop around as prices do vary. But please be wary. Some companies abroad are as not as health and safety conscious as others. Expect to pay for extras such as extended insurance cover, child seats or harnesses. When you collect the vehicle you will very likely be asked to hand over your credit card for details to be obtained. Make sure you fully check for dents and scratches when you collect it and when you drop if off. I know of several people who have been charged against there credit card for fresh scratches. They denied all knowledge but to no avail!

Travel Insurance: By law you are legally bound to have travel insurance. You will not however be prosecuted if you do not have it. It is simply your responsibility. Policies differ. Make sure you have full and financially adequate cover. Beware of cheap policies. They are not cheap if you end up not being covered. Do not put you or your family at risk. If you are holidaying in Europe make sure you also have a European Health Insurance Card. The card entitles you to free or reduced cost treatment in European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.

Finally enjoy your holiday it is what we all work for!

Kevin Gale

Holiday Family Traditions

The holidays are a time to revel in the gratitude and love we feel for one another. Here are 14 meaningful ways to celebrate your togetherness this season.

1. Go for a family nature walk near your home to collect seasonal items that you can use in your holiday

décor. If you live near a forest, the obvious choices are pine boughs and pine cones, but long dried grasses

can look just as festive when tied with a holiday bow. You might be pleasantly surprised at the

decorations that kids come up with, too.

2. Make a few handmade holiday cards this year as a family.

3. Make appreciation cards. In your holiday greeting cards, replace the annual Christmas letter

with a brief letter of appreciation for the recipient.

4. Create or purchase new ornaments each year for the tree. Create or shop for an ornament that

reflects a defining event or sentiment for the year.

5. Enjoy a Family Night with special holiday crafts or games. Oriental trading.com has some fun

and inexpensive items that you can keep among your holiday decorations.

6. Start a Christmas-themed puzzle somewhere in your home. A puzzle table, placed in a quiet room,

is great for holiday visitors. Whenever your guests want to get away from the action, they can retreat

to work on the puzzle. This can be a great stress-reliever, and it’s wonderful for those guests who

always have to be busy doing something!

7. Play special music. What is everyone’s favorite holiday CD? Allow each family member to choose

and keep them in the CD changer so everyone’s musical taste is represented.

8. Take a photo of your children standing in a particular spot each year – in front of the tree,

by the front door…anyplace that will be consistent from year to year. Make a special holiday ornament

or scrapbook album that depicts the growth and change of your family each year.

9. Research the holiday traditions of your nationality. Adopt a few of these traditions into your annual

celebration each year to celebrate your heritage.

10. Ask each child to write a Dear Santa letter. (Small children can draw pictures.) Keep a special

record of these letters in an album or treasure box.

11. Create an evening tradition of taking a family walk or drive in your neighborhood to view the

holiday lights.

12. Cut snowflakes from wrapping paper, festive holiday advertisements, or last year’s holiday cards,

and string them together into a festive garland.

13. Adopt a special cause each year. The Heifer Project (http://www.heifer.org/) is wonderfully suited

for holiday traditions. This charity allows you to purchase a gift animal for a family in need (ranging

from heifers to rabbits and everything in between.) These gift animals then provide resources that these

families need live. When we purchase a Heifer Project gift for someone, the kids draw a picture of the

gifted animal, and we frame their artwork and wrap it.

14. Take your family to a performance of The Nutcracker. Performances of this ballet abound this time of

year – from professional companies to amateur dance studios. Purchase a CD to bring the memories home.

Four Christmas Gifts For Kids That Don’t Involve Video Games

More and more these days kids seem to be wanting video game systems for Christmas and if it’s not the video game systems then it is one of the many accessories or games that go with them. By the time we are done buying the system, the games, and everything else there is little room for more traditional gifts, those gifts that expand a child’s mind, that teach them important social skills, and that will help them learn about the importance of fair competition. We don’t want our children’s childhood to be all about sitting in front of a video game though so we need to give them gifts that will inspire them to do more than pick up a controller and live in a world that is all fantasy. Not only is it not healthy to be so inactive but it is not healthy to have such limited experience. Limited experience leads to limited point of view and ultimately limited opportunity, two things that we do not want to bestow on our children. We as parents have the responsibility of showing our children that there are other things out there for them to enjoy if they just take the time to discover what those things are. We can start by giving them creative Christmas gifts that will have them doing something besides pushing buttons and sitting in front of a television or computer monitor all day. Listed are four classic Christmas gifts that have nothing to do with video games and everything to do with important lessons and learning experiences.

Board Games – Board games are a great way to teach children about the value of a good, fair competition but many parents these days just assume that kids will not play board games because they have video games so they don’t buy them for them. The fact is if we do buy them and then actually play them with our children they will probably find that they enjoy the friendly competition and the time spent with the family.

Science Projects – Simple, safe science projects that can be found at most toy stores are a great way to expand your child’s mind. Such projects as volcanoes, home made tornadoes, and chemistry sets are a great way to instill a sense of wonder in your kids and they will have a great time completing the projects and so will you.

Models – Model cars, boats, airplanes, and motorcycles are another great way to expand your child’s mind. And the best part about these as that they will have a great new decoration for their room as well and they can show off their modeling skills at the same time.

Art Sets – Art sets will give your child what they need to explore their creative side before they get to the age where they just assume that they have no artistic talent. Whether it is painting supplies, drawing supplies, or anything else it will be a great way to get your child thinking about more than their video game system.

This year give your child the gift of creativity and important life lessons by giving them something besides video games and you will surely be glad that you did.