Public Domain Day

Two years ago, when Dale retired from the Trail, I didn’t know anything about usage rights and although I had heard the phrase “public domain”, I didn’t really know what it meant. Dale taught me quite a bit about it and then I did further research to make sure we don’t get ourselves in trouble.  That’s why Renee and I sometimes question photos and for the most part, don’t copy poetry and lyrics of other writers.

Since 1998, a work enters public domain 70 years after the life of the author. Before 1998, it was 50 years; to clear up the complexity of that change, they put a moratorium on releasing anything into public domain for 20 years.  That 20 years is up and as of Tuesday, everything from 1923 is now officially in the public domain.

Some of the items now free to share are The Metropolis by Upton Sinclair, The Color of a Great City by Theodore Dreiser, The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie, The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, Rootabaga Pigeons by Carl Sandburg and New Hampshire by Robert Frost.

So in celebration of Public Domain Day, here is a poem that last week we could not have posted here legally!

Fire and Ice
by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

Do you pay attention to expiration dates?

15 thoughts on “Public Domain Day”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    There are expiration dates of many kinds. I am sitting here gazing at two peppers that do not have an explicit date, but they show the signs of pending expiration if I do not do something with them. I myself am showing similar signs—the arthritis, the bad knee, etc.

    Poetry, myth, or and I would not ever think of an official expiration date, although it does make sense. Someone like Robert Frost became part of the public zeitgeist so long ago that his work seems enduring and infinite. Would Jesus and the Bible (I view it as a source of myth), having existed in our time, have a date to enter public domain? Whether you believe in either one, they are part of the public domain, legal or otherwise, and a date is kind of meaningless. Robert Frost’s work is similar.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I use the sniff test. Son tosses anything that has expired, no questions asked. I don’t know how he got that way. He wouldn’t let us use a butternut squash in a casserole at Thanksgiving after it rolled off the kitchen counter and cracked. He insiated we get a new one in case it absorbed bacteria through the crack. He knows he is irrational about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We have the same dynamic in our house that Renee does. YA won’t touch anything that has passed an expiration date on it. I however use my eyes and my nose. That means that a lot of times I’m the only one drinking that milk or using that cream in my coffee.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know not all people can do this, but the city composting program that Minneapolis has helped me a lot in regards to the guilt of wasting food. I composted before, but not so much in the winter because the lid on the compost bin would freeze onto the bin so it was very difficult or impossible to get the lid off to dump in the food scraps. Now the city collects scraps for compost, every week, year round. And, unlike home compost, they will take meat and bone scraps, so I can compost every bit of my food scraps – even when I am “wasting” food, at least I can be happy that it is going towards the good cause of compost.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. As is usually the case with these kind of initiatives, there is mixed news on the composting programs’ success. People are so enthusiastically bagging their organics that the Twin Cities facilities are in peril of being overloaded. The Strib had an article about this about a year ago…

        Recycling programs are also collecting more than they are actually recycling. This has gotten worse since the Chinese are no longer taking all our trash. In a way, having these programs enables people by assuring them that it’s okay to be wasteful if you just handle the disposal in a responsible way. In reality, the best policy is to not buy more than you can actually use, and avoid excessive packaging.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I regard expiration dates as pretty much nonsense, to use a polite word. For my own consumption, if the can’s not bulging and it’s not slimy or gross, it’s okay with me. If I’m cooking for others or bringing something to share, I try for freshness, since I know other people might feel differently. But America leads the world in wasting food, and there’s no excuse for it.

    Fire and Ice are both friends when it comes to food preservation. Heating foods to 140 degrees or higher kills all pathogens. The only thing it cannot remove is botulism toxin, but botulism organisms take a long time to produce their toxins, and only under ideal conditions, so absent the bulging can evidence, I don’t look for botulism as a rule. Ice arrests the development of pathogens too. Doesn’t necessarily do a whole lot for the flavor of foods, but it’s an efficient guardian of safety.

    I consider myself living proof that eating old food will not kill you.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. They usually say “Best by –“.. I say that means it’s BETTER after that date.
    Kelly disagree’s. Milk is good for a week after so I think everything works that way. They’re more ‘guidelines’ really.

    I like all your ‘smell test’ approaches.

    Liked by 2 people

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