F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby will be joining other works like Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, and Great Expectations, as it enters the public domain in January 2021. Though the work was published more than 75 years ago, which is how long most copyright extends, it is only now becoming free to use due to an extension placed on the original copyright by the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act.
So what does this mean? Well entering the public domain means the work, its characters, the story, and everything in between is up to interpretation, adaptation, and usage by the public. This means in the coming years we could see retellings of the classic work literature, get more movie or show adaptations, create a play or musical based on it, or a variety of reimaginings of the original story. It is also possible that copies of the book will see a decrease in price and free ebooks might be popping up. Overall The Great Gatsby entering the public domain means that the opportunity for more of it to come in the following years, so though it’s been a well-known title for decades, there is still a lot to be done with the story.