Work in the Public Domain when originated from India

← Return to forum

  • This is regarding a book that was published in India in 1927, but his author died in 1948. According to The Indian Copyright Act, 1957, books published within the lifetime of the author enter the public domain after sixty years counted from the beginning of the following calendar year (ie. as of 2018, prior to 1 January 1958) after the death of the author. So, this work should be in the public domain at present (June 1028).

    However, does that mean it is in the public domain worldwide, even in countries that have a different law in place? In other words, if the work was published in India, does that mean it is now in the Public Domain in every country on Earth?

    Thank you so much for your help.



    Hi Steve,


    While this work may be in the public domain in India it may still be protected in the US as our term of copyright protection is the life of the author +70 years, or it may fall under a different rule that grants it protection for 95 years from when it was published. Peter Hirtle has put together a very useful chart that may help you in determining the status of this work in the US: You will want to take a look at the section titled Works First Published Outside the U.S. by Foreign Nationals or U.S. Citizens Living Abroad.


Posting to the forum is only available to users who are logged in.

← Return to forum