Is there yet a movement where artists and creators make a testament that after their death all their work becomes public domain? Ie. an explicit middle ground between default copyright period and immediate PD at the time of publication?

I'd be interested in developing and advocating this kind of movement to widen the common public cultural legacy. But I guess some sort of legal expertise would be good to have. And if this is already a thing, then great, I'll join!

@Stoori Mine is CC-BY-SA during my lifetime already so I'd be very pleased to release it immediately into the public domain at my death.


IIRC that was actually how intellectual property worked before corporate personhood and other corporate law inflictions

it was yours until you died, then it was public

that or there was some basic clause of "your descendants get it for X years" or something?

something, I'm undermedicated :\ sorries

@Stoori there is some arrangement the Estate of CS Lewis have with Radio Maria Nederland, whereby you can download without restriction the entire Chronicles of Narnia from Soundcloud in Dutch, narrated by their presenter Vincent Wibier (they are not due to enter public domain in Europe until 2034!).

I am not sure how this works and have not noticed it in other languages (the audio is good and funny if you understand Dutch, as Vincent does all the voices of the owl and other characters 😆 )

@Reinderdijkhuis yeah, because of these kind of issues I think legal expertise would be necessary to get this roll as a movement.

@Stoori I've been seriously considering stating something like that in a will, but I hadn't heard of anyone else doing it and I wasn't sure how the legal ins and outs of it would work.

A movement that could provide a website of basic resources and general advice/things to consider for creators would be incredibly helpful.


Time to contact Eben Moglen at Software Freedom Law Center and the people at Creative Commons.

@Algot Thanks for the tip. I'll see into this when I have a bit more time to spare than just now. :)


Your proposal is interesting. I'll look forward to hearing how things move forward.

No pressure from me.

The stuff I release is CC-BY for text and CC0 for most of my illustrations, so I like your idea.

@Algot @Stoori this thread was boosted into my TL 4 months after the fact, so now i'm wondering if there's any news ;)

@meena @Algot No, not actually. :D

I guess there isn't any movement around this at the moment. And my own plate is too full with other things already now, so that I can't use any resources on this. I still keep the toot pinned, and every now and then a new follower boosts it and it may catch some fire.

@Stoori Can't you just add it to your Last Will & Testament to bequeath your works to the Public Domain?

@Stoori to do that the artist would have to find an alternative to selling their work so that they retain rights to it.

I'm not sure that's practical as that would limit their ability to live off their work.

@loke I mean, my idea was to make the work public domain ONLY AFTER the artist has died. They don't need to make their living after that. And until their death, they would get the usual copyright royalties.

Also, another part of this would be that it's a VOLUNTARY act. If an artist is worried about how their offspring can make the ends meet, they could just pass their rights off to their kids, just as is the default protocol nowadays.

@Stoori that would work for artistic works which are not sold, only licensed. So an author would be able to, but a painting is sold.

@loke Yes, easily reproductible works would be the prime modes in this movement.

As for physical works of art, I'm not an expert but I guess that the physical work itself and the right to make replicas, photocopies etc. of that work are two different things.

Of course, someone buying a work of art must know before buying if there are such restrictions, so this could only be applied to new works.

@Stoori @loke eh, the problem here is that it's nearly impossible to place a work voluntarily into the public domain. Sometimes it just doesn't stick because the state defaults to protecting you from giving up your rights "accidentally" or unwisely. I'd recommend sidestepping to CC0 after death.

I don't see why you couldn't leave an instruction in your will for a named person to publish all your work under CC-0. I'm personally happier with CC-by-SA as it prevents monopolisation of my work or derivatives of it.

(cc @QwyrdoAD )

@Stoori @artsyhonker Thanks for reposting, friend! Sounds like we were on the same wavelength ∑:3
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