Virginia Woolf’s Works Now In The Public Domain

On January 1, 2012 Virginia Woolf’s books officially entered the public domain in Great Britain.

Woolf wrote many influential literary works, including Orlando, A Room of One’s Own, Mrs. Dalloway and To The Lighthouse as well as numerous essays and short stories.

According to copyright laws in Great Britain, which protects an author’s work for 70 years after his or her death, these works can now be reprinted, reproduced or used by the public without paying a licensing fee.

Since Leonard Woolf renewed the copyright for most of Virginia’s book in the United States during the 1940s and 50s, most of Woolf’s books are still copyrighted in the U.S., except for a few of her books published before 1923, such as Jacob’s Room and The Voyage Out.

Other authors who have also entered the public domain in Great Britain in 2012 are James Joyce, James George Frazer, Louis Brandeis, Robert Baden-Powell, Henri Bergson, Gaetano Mosca, Rabindranath Tagore and Marina Ivanovna Tsvetaeva.

Public Domain Day:

About Rebecca Beatrice Brooks

Rebecca Beatrice Brooks is a freelance writer and history lover who got her start in journalism working for small-town newspapers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Rebecca graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Journalism in 2001.

2 thoughts on “Virginia Woolf’s Works Now In The Public Domain

  1. Luis Alvim

    Hello Rebecca, thank you for the information about Virginia Woolf’s works in public domain.
    Can you help me with a point ? I’m from Brazil and I’d like to write a song with some excerpts texts from Virginia Wolf’s “To The Lighthouse” book. The song would be uploaded in “” website from California, that only accepts uploads whether the songwriter own or control all rights to everything on it.
    As “To The Lighthouse” was published on May 5, 1927, it may still be copyrighted in the U.S., which means that I cannot use any part of it in anyway or anywhere . Is my understanding correct? So I will not be able to do it until 2020?

    Thanks in advance for your attention.
    Best regards,
    Luís Alvim.

    1. Rebecca Beatrice Brooks Post author

      Quoting from books and texts in your own work is allowed because it falls under “fair use.”

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