Category Archives: 1920s

The Jazz Singer

The Jazz Singer is a landmark of cinematic history, as the first feature-length film with synchronized dialog.  Directed by Alan Crosland, it’s the story of a Jewish musician (played by Al Jolson) who defies his father’s wishes for him to … Continue reading

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Popeye

The comic strip known today as Popeye began in 1919 under the name Thimble Theatre. The character of Popeye wasn’t a member of the original cast, which included Olive Oyl, her brother Castor Oyl, and Olive’s boyfriend Ham Gravy; all … Continue reading

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“The Big Rock Candy Mountain”

“The Big Rock Candy Mountain” might not actually be under copyright; it’s complicated. It was recorded and published in 1928 by Harry “Haywire Mac” McClintock, but a prior copyright by another party was filed in 1906. McClintock managed to find … Continue reading

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Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse has arguably been the driving force behind the ongoing extension of copyright over the past 40 years. He was created in 1928, and it was the impending expiration of the Mickey Mouse copyright (among others) that prompted Disney … Continue reading

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“Boléro”

In recognition of today being 10/10/10, an item related to the Blake Edwards movie "10", starring Bo Derek, Dudley Moore, and “Boléro”, a musical composition by Maurice Ravel. The piece owes its existence to copyright.  The project began as an … Continue reading

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Whose Body?

Whose Body? is a novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, which began a series of novels featuring Lord Peter Wimsey, an aristocrat who fancies himself as an amateur sleuth.  While not exactly James Bond or Miss Marple in terms of profile … Continue reading

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Little Orphan Annie

Little Orphan Annie is a classic comic strip, created by Harold Gray. Although commonly thought of today as a left-leaning product of the Great Depression era (especially since the Broadway musical adaptation, which reinterpreted it that way), it began during … Continue reading

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