|What could have entered the public domain in 2013 - screen shot from Center for the Study of Public Domain|
The reason it is frustrating is due to the revisions made to US copyright law that pushes certain works from coming into the public domain today until 2052.
When it is public domain it allows people the ability to those books into other languages, create Braille or audio versions for visually impaired readers, create interesting new enhanced versions of the books, or adapt them for film.
The article quotes an interesting note from the Center for the Study of Public Domain:
“Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the current copyright term is that in most cases, the cultural harm is not offset by any benefit to an author or rights holder. Unlike the famous works highlighted here, the vast majority of works from 1956 do not retain commercial value. This means that no one is benefiting from continued copyright, while the works remain both commercially unavailable and culturally off limits. The public loses the possibility of meaningful access for no good reason.”
The cultural ham is not offset by any benefit to an author or rights holder.
Then why. Why? Why?
Sigh. Oh wait, I already said that.